Stochastic Models for the Inference of Life Evolution


SMILE is an interdisciplinary research group gathering probabilists, statisticians, bio-informaticians and biologists.
SMILE is affiliated to the Stochastics and Biology group of LPSM (Lab of Probability, Statistics and Modeling) at Sorbonne Université (ex Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 06).
SMILE is hosted within the CIRB (Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology) at Collège de France.
SMILE is supported by Collège de France and CNRS.
Visit also our homepage at CIRB.

Recent contributions of the SMILE group related to SARS-Cov2 and COVID-19.


SMILE is hosted at Collège de France in the Latin Quarter of Paris. To reach us, go to 11 place Marcelin Berthelot (stations Luxembourg or Saint-Michel on RER B).
Our working spaces are rooms 107, 121 and 122 on first floor of building B1 (ask us for the code). Building B1 is facing you upon exiting the traversing hall behind Champollion's statue.


You can reach us by email (amaury.lambert - at - or (smile - at -

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Fidelity of parent-offspring transmission and the evolution of social behavior in structured populations

The theoretical investigation of how spatial structure affects the evolution of social behavior has mostly been done under the assumption that parent-offspring strategy transmission is perfect, ie, for genetically transmitted traits, that mutation is very weak or absent. Here, we investigate the evolution of social behavior in structured populations under arbitrary mutation probabilities. We consider populations of fixed size N, structured such that in the absence of selection, all individuals have the same probability of reproducing or dying (neutral reproductive values are the all same). Two types of individuals, A and B, corresponding to two types of social behavior, are competiting; the fidelity of strategy transmission from parent to offspring is tuned by a parameter μ. Social interactions have a direct effect on individual fecundities. Under the assumption of small phenotypic differences (weak selection), we provide a formula for the expected frequency of type A individuals in the population, and deduce conditions for the long-term success of one strategy against another. We then illustrate this result with three common life-cycles (Wright-Fisher, Moran Birth-Death and Moran Death-Birth), and specific population structures (graph-structured populations). Qualitatively, we find that some life-cycles (Moran Birth-Death, Wright-Fisher) prevent the evolution of altruistic behavior, confirming previous results obtained with perfect strategy transmission. We also show that computing the expected frequency of altruists on a regular graph may require knowing more than just the graph{\textquoteright}s size and degree.



The genealogical decomposition of a matrix population model with applications to the aggregation of stages

Matrix projection models are a central tool in many areas of population biology. In most applications, one starts from the projection matrix to quantify the asymptotic growth rate of the population (the dominant eigenvalue), the stable stage distribution, and the reproductive values (the dominant right and left eigenvectors, respectively). Any primitive projection matrix also has an associated ergodic Markov chain that contains information about the genealogy of the population. In this paper, we show that these facts can be used to specify any matrix population model as a triple consisting of the ergodic Markov matrix, the dominant eigenvalue and one of the corresponding eigenvectors. This decomposition of the projection matrix separates properties associated with lineages from those associated with individuals. It also clarifies the relationships between many quantities commonly used to describe such models, including the relationship between eigenvalue sensitivities and elasticities. We illustrate the utility of such a decomposition by introducing a new method for aggregating classes in a matrix population models to produce a simpler model with a smaller number of classes. Unlike the standard method, our method has the advantage of preserving reproductive values and elasticities. It also has conceptually satisfying properties such as commuting with changes of units.

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