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86
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.
Nearoptimal network design with selfish agents
, 2003
"... We introduce a simple network design game that models how independent selfish agents can build or maintain a large network. In our game every agent has a specific connectivity requirement, i.e. each agent has a set of terminals and wants to build a network in which his terminals are connected. Possi ..."
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Cited by 151 (19 self)
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We introduce a simple network design game that models how independent selfish agents can build or maintain a large network. In our game every agent has a specific connectivity requirement, i.e. each agent has a set of terminals and wants to build a network in which his terminals are connected. Possible edges in the network have costs and each agent’s goal is to pay as little as possible. Determining whether or not a Nash equilibrium exists in this game is NPcomplete. However, when the goal of each player is to connect a terminal to a common source, we prove that there is a Nash equilibrium as cheap as the optimal network, and give a polynomial time algorithmtofinda(1+ε)approximate Nash equilibrium that does not cost much more. For the general connection game we prove that there is a 3approximate Nash equilibrium that is as cheap as the optimal network, and give an algorithm to find a (4.65 +ε)approximate Nash equilibrium that does not cost much more.
Intrinsic Robustness of the Price of Anarchy
 STOC'09
, 2009
"... The price of anarchy (POA) is a worstcase measure of the inefficiency of selfish behavior, defined as the ratio of the objective function value of a worst Nash equilibrium of a game and that of an optimal outcome. This measure implicitly assumes that players successfully reach some Nash equilibrium ..."
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Cited by 101 (12 self)
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The price of anarchy (POA) is a worstcase measure of the inefficiency of selfish behavior, defined as the ratio of the objective function value of a worst Nash equilibrium of a game and that of an optimal outcome. This measure implicitly assumes that players successfully reach some Nash equilibrium. This drawback motivates the search for inefficiency bounds that apply more generally to weaker notions of equilibria, such as mixed Nash and correlated equilibria; or to sequences of outcomes generated by natural experimentation strategies, such as successive best responses or simultaneous regretminimization. We prove a general and fundamental connection between the price of anarchy and its seemingly stronger relatives in classes of games with a sum objective. First, we identify a “canonical sufficient condition ” for an upper bound of the POA for pure Nash equilibria, which we call a smoothness argument. Second, we show that every bound derived via a smoothness argument extends automatically, with no quantitative degradation in the bound, to mixed Nash equilibria, correlated equilibria, and the average objective function value of regretminimizing players (or “price of total anarchy”). Smoothness arguments also have automatic implications for the inefficiency of approximate and BayesianNash equilibria and, under mild additional assumptions, for bicriteria bounds and for polynomiallength bestresponse sequences. We also identify classes of games — most notably, congestion games with cost functions restricted to an arbitrary fixed set — that are tight, in the sense that smoothness arguments are guaranteed to produce an optimal worstcase upper bound on the POA, even for the smallest set of interest (pure Nash equilibria). Byproducts of our proof of this result include the first tight bounds on the POA in congestion games with nonpolynomial cost functions, and the first
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
Strong Price of Anarchy
"... A strong equilibrium (Aumann 1959) is a pure Nash equilibrium which is resilient to deviations by coalitions. We define the strong price of anarchy to be the ratio of the worst case strong equilibrium to the social optimum. In contrast to the traditional price of anarchy, which quantifies the loss i ..."
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Cited by 73 (10 self)
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A strong equilibrium (Aumann 1959) is a pure Nash equilibrium which is resilient to deviations by coalitions. We define the strong price of anarchy to be the ratio of the worst case strong equilibrium to the social optimum. In contrast to the traditional price of anarchy, which quantifies the loss incurred due to both selfishness and lack of coordination, the strong price of anarchy isolates the loss originated from selfishness from that obtained due to lack of coordination. We study the strong price of anarchy in two settings, one of job scheduling and the other of network creation. In the job scheduling game we show that for unrelated machines the strong price of anarchy can be bounded as a function of the number of machines and the size of the coalition. For the network creation game we show that the strong price of anarchy is at most 2. In both cases we show that a strong
On the topologies formed by selfish peers
 In PODC ’06
"... Current peertopeer (P2P) systems often suffer from a large fraction of freeriders not contributing any resources to the network. Various mechanisms have been designed to overcome this problem. However, the selfish behavior of peers has aspects which go beyond resource sharing. This paper studies t ..."
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Cited by 54 (5 self)
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Current peertopeer (P2P) systems often suffer from a large fraction of freeriders not contributing any resources to the network. Various mechanisms have been designed to overcome this problem. However, the selfish behavior of peers has aspects which go beyond resource sharing. This paper studies the effects on the topology of a P2P network if peers selfishly select the peers to connect to. In our model, a peer exploits locality properties in order to minimize the latency (or response times) of its lookup operations. At the same time, the peer aims at not having to maintain links to too many other peers in the system. We show that the resulting topologies can be much worse than if peers collaborated. Moreover, the network may never stabilize, even in the absence of churn. 1
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
Designing networks with good equilibria
 In SODA ’08
, 2007
"... In a network with selfish users, designing and deploying a protocol determines the rules of the game by which end users interact with each other and with the network. We study the problem of designing a protocol to optimize the equilibrium behavior of the induced network game. We consider network co ..."
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Cited by 34 (4 self)
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In a network with selfish users, designing and deploying a protocol determines the rules of the game by which end users interact with each other and with the network. We study the problem of designing a protocol to optimize the equilibrium behavior of the induced network game. We consider network costsharing games, where the set of Nash equilibria depends fundamentally on the choice of an edge costsharing protocol. Previous research focused on the Shapley protocol, in which the cost of each edge is shared equally among its users. We systematically study the design of optimal costsharing protocols for undirected and directed graphs, singlesink and multicommodity networks, different classes of costsharing methods, and different measures of the inefficiency of equilibria. One of our main technical tools is a complete characterization of the uniform costsharing protocols—protocols that are designed without foreknowledge of or assumptions on the network in which they will be deployed. We use this characterization result to identify the optimal uniform protocol in several scenarios: for example, the Shapley protocol is optimal in directed graphs, while the optimal protocol in undirected graphs, a simple priority scheme, has exponentially smaller worstcase price of anarchy than the Shapley protocol. We also provide several matching upper and lower bounds on the bestpossible performance of nonuniform costsharing protocols.
The Price of Anarchy in Network Creation Games
, 2007
"... and that the price of anarchy is 15 "1 + (min { ff2n, n2ff})1/3 " for any ff. The latter bound shows the first sublinear worstcase bound, O(n1/3), for all ff. But no better bound is known for ff between!(pn) and o(n lg n). Yet ff ss n is perhaps the most interesting range, for it c ..."
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Cited by 29 (3 self)
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and that the price of anarchy is 15 &quot;1 + (min { ff2n, n2ff})1/3 &quot; for any ff. The latter bound shows the first sublinear worstcase bound, O(n1/3), for all ff. But no better bound is known for ff between!(pn) and o(n lg n). Yet ff ss n is perhaps the most interesting range, for it corresponds to considering the average distance (instead of the sum of distances) to other nodes to be roughly on par with link creation (effectively dividing ff by n). In this paper, we prove the first o(n&quot;) upper bound for general ff, namely 2O(plg n). We also prove a constant upper bound for ff = O(n1&quot;) for any fixed &quot;> 0, substantially reducing the range of ff for which constant bounds have not been obtained. Along the way, we also improve the constant upper bound by Albers et al. (with the lead constant of 15) to 6 for ff < (n/2)1/2 and to 4 for ff < (n/2)1/3.
Network formation games and the potential function method
 Algorithmic Game Theory, chapter 19
, 2007
"... Large computer networks such as the Internet are built, operated, and used by a large number of diverse and competitive entities. In light of these competing forces, it is surprising how efficient these networks are. An exciting challenge in the area of algorithmic game theory is to understand the s ..."
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Cited by 28 (1 self)
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Large computer networks such as the Internet are built, operated, and used by a large number of diverse and competitive entities. In light of these competing forces, it is surprising how efficient these networks are. An exciting challenge in the area of algorithmic game theory is to understand the success of these networks in game theoretic terms: what principles of interaction lead selfish participants to form such efficient networks? In this chapter we present a number of network formation games. We focus on simple games that have been analyzed in terms of the efficiency loss that results from selfishness. We also highlight a fundamental technique used in analyzing inefficiency in many games: the potential function method. The design and operation of many large computer networks, such as the Internet, are carried out by a large number of independent service providers (Autonomous Systems), all of whom seek to selfishly optimize the quality and cost of their own operation. Game theory provides a natural framework for modeling such selfish interests and