Resource Buying Games

T. Harks, B. Peis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In resource buying games a set of players jointly buys a subset of a finite resource set E (e.g., machines, edges, or nodes in a digraph). The cost of a resource e depends on the number (or load) of players using e , and has to be paid completely by the players before it becomes available. Each player i needs at least one set of a predefined family Si⊆2E to be available. Thus, resource buying games can be seen as a variant of congestion games in which the load-dependent costs of the resources can be shared arbitrarily among the players. A strategy of player i in resource buying games is a tuple consisting of one of i ’s desired configurations Si∈Si together with a payment vector pi∈RE+ indicating how much i is willing to contribute towards the purchase of the chosen resources. In this paper, we study the existence and computational complexity of pure Nash equilibria (PNE, for short) of resource buying games. In contrast to classical congestion games for which equilibria are guaranteed to exist, the existence of equilibria in resource buying games strongly depends on the underlying structure of the families Si and the behavior of the cost functions. We show that for marginally non-increasing cost functions, matroids are exactly the right structure to consider, and that resource buying games with marginally non-decreasing cost functions always admit a PNE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-512
Number of pages20
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


  • Connection games
  • Matroids
  • Marginally non-increasing

Cite this