A pioneering paper in 2001 - titled "Evolution of cooperation without reciprocity" - introduced the idea. The abstract said:
Here we use computer simulations to show that cooperation can arise when agents donate to others who are sufficiently similar to themselves in some arbitrary characteristic. Such a characteristic, or `tag', can be a marking, display, or other observable trait. Tag-based donation can lead to the emergence of cooperation among agents who have only rudimentary ability to detect environmental signals and, unlike models of direct or indirect reciprocity, no memory of past encounters is required."Tag-Based Cooperation" was recognised as a form of cultural kin selection by Sigmund and Nowak in 2001 - as follows:
the mechanism that leads to cooperation is a form of kin selection — either classical (if traits are inherited genetically) or social (if they are inherited culturally, like a dress code).
- Holland, John H. (1993) The Effect of Labels (Tags) on Social Interactions.
- Eshel, Ilan, Sansone,Emilia and Shaked, Avner (1999) The emergence of kinship behavior in structured populations of unrelated individuals.
- Hales, David (2000) Cooperation without Space or Memory: Tags, Groups and the Prisoner's Dilemma.
- Riolo, R.L., Cohen, M.D., Axelrod, R. (2001) Evolution of cooperation without reciprocity.
- Sigmund, Karl and Nowak, Martin (2001) Tides of tolerance.
- Hales, David (2001) Tag Based Cooperation in Artificial Societies.
- Hales, David (2002a) Cooperation and Specialisation without Kin Selection using Tags.
- Hales, David (2002b) Smart Agents Don’t Need Kin – Evolving Specialisation and Cooperation with Tags.
- Traulsen, Arne and Schuster, Heinz Georg (2003) Minimal model for tag-based cooperation
- Axelrod, Robert, Hammond, R.A, Grafen, A (2004) Altruism via kin-selection strategies that rely on arbitrary tags with which they coevolve.
- Hales, David (2004) Tags for All! – Understanding and Engineering Tag Systems.
- Axelrod, R, Hammond, R. A. & Grafen, A. (2004) Altruism via kin-selection strategies that rely on arbitrary tags with which they coevolve.
- Hales, David and Edmonds, B. (2005a) Applying a socially-inspired technique (tags) to improve cooperation in P2P Networks.
- Hales, David (2005b) Change Your Tags Fast! – A Necessary Condition for Cooperation?
- Marcozzi, Andrea, Hales, David, Jesi, Gian Paolo, Arteconi, Stefano and Babaoglu, Ozalp (2005) Tag-Based Cooperation in Peer-to-Peer Networks with Newscast.
- Jansen VA, van Baalen M. (2006) Altruism through beard chromodynamics.
- Tanimoto J. (2007) Does a tag system effectively support emerging cooperation? A study of indirect reciprocity involving a reputation system or a simple tag system in a one-shot, multi-player game.
- Antal, Tibor, Ohtsuki, Hisashi, Wakeley, John, Taylor, Peter D. and Nowak, Martin A. (2008) Evolution of cooperation by phenotypic similarity [alt]
- Sigmund, Karl (2009) Sympathy and similarity: The evolutionary dynamics of cooperation.
- Griffiths, Nathan and Luck, Michael (2010) Changing Neighbours: Improving Tag-Based Cooperation.
- Griffiths, Nathan and Luck, Michael (2010) Norm Emergence in Tag-Based Cooperation.
- Howley, Enda and Duggan, Jim (2011) Tag-Based Cooperation in N-Player Dilemmas.
- Laird, Robert A. (2011) Green-beard effect predicts the evolution of traitorousness in the two-tag Prisoner's dilemma.
- Uitdehaag JC (2011) Bet hedging based cooperation can limit kin selection and form a basis for mutualism.