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21
Routing without regret: On convergence to nash equilibria of regretminimizing algorithms in routing games
 In PODC
, 2006
"... Abstract There has been substantial work developing simple, efficient noregret algorithms for a wideclass of repeated decisionmaking problems including online routing. These are adaptive strategies an individual can use that give strong guarantees on performance even in adversariallychanging envi ..."
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Cited by 45 (6 self)
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Abstract There has been substantial work developing simple, efficient noregret algorithms for a wideclass of repeated decisionmaking problems including online routing. These are adaptive strategies an individual can use that give strong guarantees on performance even in adversariallychanging environments. There has also been substantial work on analyzing properties of Nash equilibria in routing games. In this paper, we consider the question: if each player in a routing game uses a noregret strategy, will behavior converge to a Nash equilibrium? In general games the answer to this question is known to be no in a strong sense, but routing games havesubstantially more structure. In this paper we show that in the Wardrop setting of multicommodity flow and infinitesimalagents, behavior will approach Nash equilibrium (formally, on most days, the cost of the flow will be close to the cost of the cheapest paths possible given that flow) at a rate that dependspolynomially on the players ' regret bounds and the maximum slope of any latency function. We also show that priceofanarchy results may be applied to these approximate equilibria, and alsoconsider the finitesize (noninfinitesimal) loadbalancing model of Azar [2].
Distributed selfish load balancing
, 2006
"... Suppose that a set of m tasks are to be shared as equally as possible amongst a set of n resources. A gametheoretic mechanism to find a suitable allocation is to associate each task with a “selfish agent”, and require each agent to select a resource, with the cost of a resource being the number of ..."
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Cited by 30 (1 self)
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Suppose that a set of m tasks are to be shared as equally as possible amongst a set of n resources. A gametheoretic mechanism to find a suitable allocation is to associate each task with a “selfish agent”, and require each agent to select a resource, with the cost of a resource being the number of agents to select it. Agents would then be expected to migrate from overloaded to underloaded resources, until the allocation becomes balanced. Recent work has studied the question of how this can take place within a distributed setting in which agents migrate selfishly without any centralized control. In this paper we discuss a natural protocol for the agents which combines the following desirable features: It can be implemented in a strongly distributed setting, uses no central control, and has good convergence properties. For m ≫ n, the system becomes approximately balanced (an ǫNash equilibrium) in expected time O(log log m). We show using a martingale technique that the process converges to a perfectly balanced allocation in expected time O(log log m + n 4). We also give a lower bound of Ω(max{loglog m, n}) for the convergence time.
Convergence Time to Nash Equilibrium in Load Balancing
, 2001
"... We study the number of steps required to reach a pure Nash equilibrium in a load balancing scenario where each job behaves selfishly and attempts to migrate to a machine which will minimize its cost. We consider a variety of load balancing models, including identical, restricted, related and unrelat ..."
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Cited by 22 (3 self)
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We study the number of steps required to reach a pure Nash equilibrium in a load balancing scenario where each job behaves selfishly and attempts to migrate to a machine which will minimize its cost. We consider a variety of load balancing models, including identical, restricted, related and unrelated machines. Our results have a crucial dependence on the weights assigned to jobs. We consider arbitrary weights, integer weights, K distinct weights and identical (unit) weights. We look both at an arbitrary schedule (where the only restriction is that a job migrates to a machine which lowers its cost) and specific efficient schedulers (such as allowing the largest weight job to move first). A by product of our results is establishing a connection between the various scheduling models and the game theoretic notion of potential games. We show that load balancing in unrelated machines is a generalized ordinal potential game, load balancing in related machines is a weighted potential game, and load balancing in related machines and unit weight jobs is an exact potential game.
Approximating Wardrop Equilibria with Finitely Many Agents
"... We present efficient algorithms for computing approximate Wardrop equilibria in a distributed and concurrent fashion. Our algorithms are exexuted by a finite number of agents each of which controls the flow of one commodity striving to balance the induced latency over all utilised paths. The set of ..."
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Cited by 5 (2 self)
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We present efficient algorithms for computing approximate Wardrop equilibria in a distributed and concurrent fashion. Our algorithms are exexuted by a finite number of agents each of which controls the flow of one commodity striving to balance the induced latency over all utilised paths. The set of allowed paths is represented by a DAG. Our algorithms are based on previous work on policies for infinite populations of agents. These policies achieve a convergence time which is independent of the underlying network and depends mildly on the latency functions. These policies can neither be applied to a finite set of agents nor can they be simulated directly due to the exponential number of paths. Our algorithms circumvent these problems by computing a randomised path decomposition in every communication round. Based on this decomposition, flow is shifted from overloaded to underloaded paths. This way, our algorithm can handle exponentially large path collections in polynomial time. Our algorithms are stateless, and the number of communication rounds depends polynomially on the approximation quality and is independent of the topology and size of the network.
Atomic congestion games: fast, myopic and concurrent
"... We study here the effect of concurrent greedy moves of players in atomic congestion games where n selfish agents (players) wish to select a resource each (out of m resources) so that her selfish delay there is not much. Such games usually admit a global potential that decreases by sequential and se ..."
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Cited by 4 (0 self)
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We study here the effect of concurrent greedy moves of players in atomic congestion games where n selfish agents (players) wish to select a resource each (out of m resources) so that her selfish delay there is not much. Such games usually admit a global potential that decreases by sequential and selfishly improving moves. However, concurrent moves may not always lead to global convergence. On the other hand, concurrent play is desirable because it might essentially improve the system convergence time to some balanced state. The problem of “maintaining ” global progress while allowing concurrent play is exactly what is examined and answered here. We examine two orthogonal settings: (i) A game where the players decide their moves without global information, each acting “freely ” by sampling resources randomly and locally deciding to migrate (if the new resource is better) via a random experiment. Here, the resources can have quite arbitrary latency that is load dependent. (ii) An “organised” setting where the players are prepartitioned into selfish groups (coalitions) and where each coalition does an improving coalitional move. Here the concurrency is among the members of the coalition. In this second setting, the resources have latency functions that are only linearly dependent on the load, since this is the only case so far where a global potential exists. In both cases (i), (ii) we show that the system converges to an “approximate” equilibrium very fast (in
Load balancing via random local search in closed and open systems
 In Proc. of SIGMETRICS
, 2010
"... In this paper, we analyze the performance of random load resampling and migration strategies in parallel server systems. Clients initially attach to an arbitrary server, but may switch servers independently at random instants of time in an attempt to improve their service rate. This approach to load ..."
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Cited by 3 (0 self)
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In this paper, we analyze the performance of random load resampling and migration strategies in parallel server systems. Clients initially attach to an arbitrary server, but may switch servers independently at random instants of time in an attempt to improve their service rate. This approach to load balancing contrasts with traditional approaches where clients make smart server selections upon arrival (e.g., JointheShortestQueue policy and variants thereof). Load resampling is particularly relevant in scenarios where clients cannot predict the load of a server before being actually attached to it. An important example is in wireless spectrum sharing where clients try to share a set of frequency bands in a distributed manner. We first analyze the natural Random Local Search (RLS)
Distributed Algorithms for QoS Load Balancing ∗
"... We consider a dynamic load balancing scenario in which users allocate resources in a noncooperative and selfish fashion. The perceived performance of a resource for a user decreases with the number of users that allocate the resource. In our dynamic, concurrent model, users may reallocate resources ..."
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Cited by 2 (1 self)
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We consider a dynamic load balancing scenario in which users allocate resources in a noncooperative and selfish fashion. The perceived performance of a resource for a user decreases with the number of users that allocate the resource. In our dynamic, concurrent model, users may reallocate resources in a roundbased fashion. As opposed to various settings analyzed in the literature, we assume that users have quality of service (QoS) demands. A user has zero utility when falling short of a certain minimum performance threshold and having positive utility otherwise. Whereas various loadbalancing protocols have been proposed for the setting without quality of service requirements, we consider protocols that satisfy an additional locality constraint: The behavior of a user depends merely on the state of the resource it currently allocates. This property is particularly useful in scenarios where the state of other resources is not readily accessible. For instance, if resources represent channels in a mobile network, then accessing channel information may require timeintensive measurements. We consider several variants of the model, where the quality of service demands may depend on the user, the resource, or both. For all cases we present protocols for which the dynamics converge to a state in which all users are satisfied. More importantly, the time to reach such a state scales nicely. It is only logarithmic in the number of users, which makes our protocols applicable in largescale systems.
A First Step towards Analyzing the Convergence Time in PlayerSpecific Singleton congestion games
 In Proceedings of 4th Symposium on Stochastic Algorithms, Foundations, and Applications (SAGA), pages 58 – 69
, 2007
"... Abstract. We initiate studying the convergence time to Nash equilibria in playerspecific singleton congestion games. We consider simple games that have natural representations as graphs as we assume that each player chooses between two resources. We are not able to present an analysis for general gr ..."
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Cited by 2 (2 self)
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Abstract. We initiate studying the convergence time to Nash equilibria in playerspecific singleton congestion games. We consider simple games that have natural representations as graphs as we assume that each player chooses between two resources. We are not able to present an analysis for general graphs. However, we present first results for interesting classes of graphs. For the class of games that are represented as trees, we show that every bestresponse schedule terminates after O(n 2) steps. We also consider games that are represented as circles. We show that deterministic best response schedules may cycle, whereas the random best response schedule, which selects the next player to play a best response uniformly at random, terminates after O(n 2) steps in expectation. These results imply that in playerspecific congestion games in which each player chooses between two resources, and each resource is allocated by at most two players, the random best response schedule terminates quickly. Our analysis reveals interesting relationships between random walks on lines and the random best response schedule. 1
Stochastic Learning of Equilibria in Games: The Ordinary Differential Equation Method, submitted
"... Abstract. Our purpose is to discuss stochastic algorithms to learn equilibria in games, and their time of convergence. To do so, we consider a general class of stochastic algorithms that converge weakly (in the sense of weak convergence for stochastic processes) towards solutions of particular ordin ..."
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Cited by 1 (1 self)
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Abstract. Our purpose is to discuss stochastic algorithms to learn equilibria in games, and their time of convergence. To do so, we consider a general class of stochastic algorithms that converge weakly (in the sense of weak convergence for stochastic processes) towards solutions of particular ordinary differential equations, corresponding to their meanfield approximations. Tuning parameters in these algorithms provides several dynamics having limit points related to Nash equilibria, and hence provide means to compute equilibria in a distributed fashion in games. We relate the time of convergence of stochastic dynamics to the time of convergence of their corresponding ordinary differential equation. This gives lower and upper bounds on the time needed to learn equilibria in games through such stochastic dynamics. 1