On the Complexity of the Highway Pricing Problem.

A. Grigoriev*, J. van Loon, M.J. Uetz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The highway pricing problem asks for prices to be determined for segments of a single highway such as to maximize the revenue obtainable from a given set of customers with known valuations. The problem is NP-hard and a recent quasi-PTAS suggests that a PTAS might be in reach. Yet, so far it has resisted any attempt for constant-factor approximation algorithms. We relate the tractability of the problem to structural properties of customers' valuations. We show that the problem becomes NP-hard as soon as the average valuations of customers are not; homogeneous, even under further restrictions such as monotonicity. Moreover, we derive an efficient; approximation algorithm, parameterized along the inhomogeneity of customers' valuations. Finally, we discuss extensions of our results that go beyond the highway pricing problem.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheory and Practice of Computer Science
EditorsJ. van Leeuwen
Place of PublicationBerlin / Heidelberg
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Publication series

SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science

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