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The price of stability for network design with fair cost allocation
 In Proceedings of the 45th Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS
, 2004
"... Abstract. Network design is a fundamental problem for which it is important to understand the effects of strategic behavior. Given a collection of selfinterested agents who want to form a network connecting certain endpoints, the set of stable solutions — the Nash equilibria — may look quite differ ..."
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Cited by 281 (30 self)
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Abstract. Network design is a fundamental problem for which it is important to understand the effects of strategic behavior. Given a collection of selfinterested agents who want to form a network connecting certain endpoints, the set of stable solutions — the Nash equilibria — may look quite different from the centrally enforced optimum. We study the quality of the best Nash equilibrium, and refer to the ratio of its cost to the optimum network cost as the price of stability. The best Nash equilibrium solution has a natural meaning of stability in this context — it is the optimal solution that can be proposed from which no user will defect. We consider the price of stability for network design with respect to one of the most widelystudied protocols for network cost allocation, in which the cost of each edge is divided equally between users whose connections make use of it; this fairdivision scheme can be derived from the Shapley value, and has a number of basic economic motivations. We show that the price of stability for network design with respect to this fair cost allocation is O(log k), where k is the number of users, and that a good Nash equilibrium can be achieved via bestresponse dynamics in which users iteratively defect from a starting solution. This establishes that the fair cost allocation protocol is in fact a useful mechanism for inducing strategic behavior to form nearoptimal equilibria. We discuss connections to the class of potential games defined by Monderer and Shapley, and extend our results to cases in which users are seeking to balance network design costs with latencies in the constructed network, with stronger results when the network has only delays and no construction costs. We also present bounds on the convergence time of bestresponse dynamics, and discuss extensions to a weighted game.
Selfish Routing and the Price of Anarchy
 MATHEMATICAL PROGRAMMING SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
, 2007
"... Selfish routing is a classical mathematical model of how selfinterested users might route traffic through a congested network. The outcome of selfish routing is generally inefficient, in that it fails to optimize natural objective functions. The price of anarchy is a quantitative measure of this in ..."
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Cited by 255 (11 self)
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Selfish routing is a classical mathematical model of how selfinterested users might route traffic through a congested network. The outcome of selfish routing is generally inefficient, in that it fails to optimize natural objective functions. The price of anarchy is a quantitative measure of this inefficiency. We survey recent work that analyzes the price of anarchy of selfish routing. We also describe related results on bounding the worstpossible severity of a phenomenon called Braess’s Paradox, and on three techniques for reducing the price of anarchy of selfish routing. This survey concentrates on the contributions of the author’s PhD thesis, but also discusses several more recent results in the area.
Efficiency Loss in a Network Resource Allocation Game: The Case of Elastic Supply
, 2008
"... We consider a resource allocation problem where individual users wish to send data across a network to maximize their utility, and a cost is incurred at each link that depends on the total rate sent through the link. It is known that as long as users do not anticipate the effect of their actions on ..."
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Cited by 211 (12 self)
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We consider a resource allocation problem where individual users wish to send data across a network to maximize their utility, and a cost is incurred at each link that depends on the total rate sent through the link. It is known that as long as users do not anticipate the effect of their actions on prices, a simple proportional pricing mechanism can maximize the sum of users’ utilities minus the cost (called aggregate surplus). Continuing previous efforts to quantify the effects of selfish behavior in network pricing mechanisms, we consider the possibility that users anticipate the effect of their actions on link prices. Under the assumption that the links’ marginal cost functions are convex, we establish existence of a Nash equilibrium. We show that the aggregate surplus at a Nash equilibrium is no worse than a factor of 4 √ 2 − 5 times the optimal aggregate surplus; thus, the efficiency loss when users are selfish is no more than approximately 34%.
On Nash equilibria for a network creation game
 In Proc. of SODA
, 2006
"... We study a network creation game recently proposed by Fabrikant, Luthra, Maneva, Papadimitriou and Shenker. In this game, each player (vertex) can create links (edges) to other players at a cost of α per edge. The goal of every player is to minimize the sum consisting of (a) the cost of the links he ..."
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Cited by 86 (6 self)
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We study a network creation game recently proposed by Fabrikant, Luthra, Maneva, Papadimitriou and Shenker. In this game, each player (vertex) can create links (edges) to other players at a cost of α per edge. The goal of every player is to minimize the sum consisting of (a) the cost of the links he has created and (b) the sum of the distances to all other players. Fabrikant et al. conjectured that there exists a constant A such that, for any α> A, all nontransient Nash equilibria graphs are trees. They showed that if a Nash equilibrium is a tree, the price of anarchy is constant. In this paper we disprove the tree conjecture. More precisely, we show that for any positive integer n0, there exists a graph built by n ≥ n0 players which contains cycles and forms a nontransient
The price of selfish behavior in bilateral network formation
 In Proceedings of the twentyfourth annual ACM symposium on Principles of distributed computing
, 2005
"... Given a collection of selfish agents who wish to establish links to route traffic among themselves, the set of equilibrium network topologies may appear quite different from the centrally enforced optimum. We study the quality (price of anarchy) of equilibrium networks in a game where links require ..."
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Cited by 75 (0 self)
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Given a collection of selfish agents who wish to establish links to route traffic among themselves, the set of equilibrium network topologies may appear quite different from the centrally enforced optimum. We study the quality (price of anarchy) of equilibrium networks in a game where links require the consent of both participants and are negotiated bilaterally, and compare these networks to those generated by an earlier model due to Fabrikant et al. [10] in which links are formed unilaterally. We provide a partial characterization of stable and efficient networks in the bilateral network formation game, and provide examples of stable networks that are not Nash graphs in the unilateral game. We develop an upper and lower bound on the price of anarchy of the bilateral game. An empirical analysis demonstrates that the average price of anarchy is better in the bilateral connection game
Selfish Caching in Distributed Systems: A GameTheoretic Analysis
 in Proc. ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (ACM PODC
, 2004
"... We analyze replication of resources by server nodes that act selfishly, using a gametheoretic approach. We refer to this as the selfish caching problem. In our model, nodes incur either cost for replicating resources or cost for access to a remote replica. We show the existence of pure strategy Nas ..."
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Cited by 62 (2 self)
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We analyze replication of resources by server nodes that act selfishly, using a gametheoretic approach. We refer to this as the selfish caching problem. In our model, nodes incur either cost for replicating resources or cost for access to a remote replica. We show the existence of pure strategy Nash equilibria and investigate the price of anarchy, which is the relative cost of the lack of coordination. The price of anarchy can be high due to undersupply problems, but with certain network topologies it has better bounds. With a payment scheme the game can always implement the social optimum in the best case by giving servers incentive to replicate.
A network pricing game for selfish traffic
 in Proc. of SIGACTSIGOPS Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC
, 2005
"... The success of the Internet is remarkable in light of the decentralized manner in which it is designed and operated. Unlike small scale networks, the Internet is built and controlled by a large number of disperate service providers who are not interested in any global optimization. Instead, provider ..."
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Cited by 52 (1 self)
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The success of the Internet is remarkable in light of the decentralized manner in which it is designed and operated. Unlike small scale networks, the Internet is built and controlled by a large number of disperate service providers who are not interested in any global optimization. Instead, providers simply seek to maximize their own profit by charging users for access to their service. Users themselves also behave selfishly, optimizing over price and quality of service. Game theory provides a natural framework for the study of such a situation. However, recent work in this area tends to focus on either the service providers or the network users, but not both. This paper introduces a new model for exploring the interaction of these two elements, in which network managers compete for users via prices and the quality of service provided. We study the extent to which competition between service providers hurts the overall social utility of the system.
Network Design with Weighted Players
 In Proceedings of the 18th Annual ACM Symposium on Parallel Algorithms and Architectures (SPAA
, 2006
"... We consider a model of gametheoretic network design initially studied by Anshelevich et al. [2], where selfish players select paths in a network to minimize their cost, which is prescribed by Shapley cost shares. If all players are identical, the cost share incurred by a player for an edge in its p ..."
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Cited by 49 (7 self)
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We consider a model of gametheoretic network design initially studied by Anshelevich et al. [2], where selfish players select paths in a network to minimize their cost, which is prescribed by Shapley cost shares. If all players are identical, the cost share incurred by a player for an edge in its path is the fixed cost of the edge divided by the number of players using it. In this special case, Anshelevich et al. [2] proved that purestrategy Nash equilibria always exist and that the price of stability—the ratio in costs of a minimumcost Nash equilibrium and an optimal solution—is Θ(log k), where k is the number of players. Little was known about the existence of equilibria or the price of stability in the general weighted version of the game. Here, each player i has aweightwi≥1, and its cost share of an edge in its path
Equilibria in topology control games for ad hoc networks
 in: Proceedings in DIALMPOMC Mobicom
, 2003
"... Abstract. We study topology control problems in ad hoc networks where network nodes get to choose their power levels in order to ensure desired connectivity properties. Unlike most other work on this topic, we assume that the network nodes are owned by different entities, whose only goal is to maxim ..."
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Cited by 47 (5 self)
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Abstract. We study topology control problems in ad hoc networks where network nodes get to choose their power levels in order to ensure desired connectivity properties. Unlike most other work on this topic, we assume that the network nodes are owned by different entities, whose only goal is to maximize their own utility that they get out of the network without considering the overall performance of the network. Game theory is the appropriate tool to study such selfish nodes: we define several topology control games in which the nodes need to choose power levels in order to connect to other nodes in the network to reach their communication partners while at the same time minimizing their costs. We study Nash equilibria and show that—among the games we define—these can only be guaranteed to exist if each network node is required to be connected to all other nodes (we call this the STRONG CONNECTIVITY GAME). For a variation called CONNECTIVITY GAME, where each node is only required to be connected (possibly via intermediate nodes) to a given set of nodes, we show that Nash equilibria do not necessarily exist. We further study how to find Nash equilibria with incentivecompatible algorithms and compare the cost of Nash equilibria to the cost of a social optimum, which is a radius assignment that minimizes the total cost in a network where nodes cooperate. We also study variations of the games; one where nodes not only have to be connected, but kconnected, and one that we call the REACHABILITY GAME, where nodes have to reach as many other nodes as possible, while keeping costs low. We extend our study of the STRONG CONNECTIVITY GAME and the CONNECTIVITY GAME to wireless networks with directional antennas and wireline
Strong equilibrium in cost sharing connection games
 Proc. 8th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce, 84–92
, 2007
"... In this work we study cost sharing connection games, where each player has a source and sink he would like to connect, and the cost of the edges is either shared equally (fair connection games) or in an arbitrary way (general connection games). We study the graph topologies that guarantee the existe ..."
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Cited by 47 (6 self)
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In this work we study cost sharing connection games, where each player has a source and sink he would like to connect, and the cost of the edges is either shared equally (fair connection games) or in an arbitrary way (general connection games). We study the graph topologies that guarantee the existence of a strong equilibrium (where no coalition can improve the cost of each of its members) regardless of the specific costs on the edges. Our main existence results are the following: (1) For a single source and sink we show that there is always a strong equilibrium (both for fair and general connection games). (2) For a single source multiple sinks we show that for a series parallel graph a strong equilibrium always exists (both for fair and general connection games). (3) For multi source and sink we show that an extension parallel graph always admits a strong equilibrium in fair connection games. As for the quality of the strong equilibrium we show that in any fair connection games the cost of a strong equilibrium is Θ(log n) from the optimal solution, where n is the number of players. (This should be contrasted with the Ω(n) price of anarchy for the same setting.) For single source general connection games and single source single sink fair connection games, we show that a strong equilibrium is always an optimal solution.