On the Price of Anarchy for flows over time

José Correa, Andrés Cristi, Tim Oosterwijk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review

49 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Dynamic network flows, or network flows over time, constitute an important model for real-world situations where steady states are unusual, such as urban traffic and the Internet. These applications immediately raise the issue of analyzing dynamic network flows from a game-theoretic perspective. In this paper we study dynamic equilibria in the deterministic fluid queuing model in single-source single-sink networks, arguably the most basic model for flows over time. In the last decade we have witnessed significant developments in the theoretical understanding of the model. However, several fundamental questions remain open. One of the most prominent ones concerns the Price of Anarchy, measured as the worst case ratio between the minimum time required to route a given amount of flow from the source to the sink, and the time a dynamic equilibrium takes to perform the same task. Our main result states that if we could reduce the inflow of the network in a dynamic equilibrium, then the Price of Anarchy is exactly e/(e − 1) ≈ 1.582. This significantly extends a result by Bhaskar, Fleischer, and Anshelevich (SODA 2011). Furthermore, our methods allow to determine that the Price of Anarchy in parallel-link networks is exactly 4/3. Finally, we argue that if a certain very natural monotonicity conjecture holds, the Price of Anarchy in the general case is exactly e/(e − 1).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEC '19 Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Economics and Computation
PublisherACM New York
Pages559-577
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-6792-9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Event20th ACM Conference on Economics and Computation - Phoenix, United States
Duration: 24 Jun 201928 Jun 2019
Conference number: 19
http://www.sigecom.org/ec19/

Conference

Conference20th ACM Conference on Economics and Computation
Abbreviated titleEC
CountryUnited States
CityPhoenix
Period24/06/1928/06/19
Internet address

JEL classifications

  • c72 - Noncooperative Games
  • d85 - Network Formation and Analysis: Theory

Keywords

  • flows over time
  • price of anarchy
  • dynamic equilibrium

Cite this

Correa, J., Cristi, A., & Oosterwijk, T. (2019). On the Price of Anarchy for flows over time. In EC '19 Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (pp. 559-577). ACM New York. https://doi.org/10.1145/3328526.3329593