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773
How bad is selfish routing?
 JOURNAL OF THE ACM
, 2002
"... We consider the problem of routing traffic to optimize the performance of a congested network. We are given a network, a rate of traffic between each pair of nodes, and a latency function for each edge specifying the time needed to traverse the edge given its congestion; the objective is to route t ..."
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Cited by 657 (27 self)
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We consider the problem of routing traffic to optimize the performance of a congested network. We are given a network, a rate of traffic between each pair of nodes, and a latency function for each edge specifying the time needed to traverse the edge given its congestion; the objective is to route traffic such that the sum of all travel times—the total latency—is minimized. In many settings, it may be expensive or impossible to regulate network traffic so as to implement an optimal assignment of routes. In the absence of regulation by some central authority, we assume that each network user routes its traffic on the minimumlatency path available to it, given the network congestion caused by the other users. In general such a “selfishly motivated ” assignment of traffic to paths will not minimize the total latency; hence, this lack of regulation carries the cost of decreased network performance. In this article, we quantify the degradation in network performance due to unregulated traffic. We prove that if the latency of each edge is a linear function of its congestion, then the total latency of the routes chosen by selfish network users is at most 4/3 times the minimum possible total latency (subject to the condition that all traffic must be routed). We also consider the more general setting in which edge latency functions are assumed only to be continuous and nondecreasing in the edge congestion. Here, the total
On kinetic waves: II) A theory of traffic Flow on long crowded roads
 Proc. Royal Society A229
, 1955
"... This paper uses the method of kinematic waves, developed in part I, but may be read independently. A functional relationship between flow and concentration for traffic on crowded arterial roads has been postulated for some time, and has experimental backing (? 2). From this a theory of the propagati ..."
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Cited by 496 (2 self)
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This paper uses the method of kinematic waves, developed in part I, but may be read independently. A functional relationship between flow and concentration for traffic on crowded arterial roads has been postulated for some time, and has experimental backing (? 2). From this a theory of the propagation of changes in traffic distribution along these roads may be deduced (??2, 3). The theory is applied (?4) to the problem of estimating how a 'hump', or region of increased concentration, will move along a crowded main road. It is suggested that it will move slightly slower than the mean vehicle speed, and that vehicles passing through it will have to reduce speed rather suddenly (at a 'shock wave') on entering it, but can increase speed again only very gradually as they leave it. The hump gradually spreads out along the road, and the time scale of this process is estimated. The behaviour of such a hump on entering a bottleneck, which is too narrow to admit the increased flow, is studied (?5), and methods are obtained for estimating the extent and duration of the resulting holdup. The theory is applicable principally to traffic behaviour over a long stretch of road, but the paper concludes (? 6) with a discussion of its relevance to problems of flow near junctions, including a discussion of the starting flow at a controlled junction. In the introductory sections 1 and 2, we have included some elementary material on the quantitative study of traffic flow for the benefit of scientific readers unfamiliar with the subject. 1.
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.
The price of anarchy is independent of the network topology
 JOURNAL OF COMPUTER AND SYSTEM SCIENCES
, 2002
"... We study the degradation in network performance caused by the selfish behavior of noncooperative network users. We consider a model of selfish routing in which the latency experienced by network traffic on an edge of the network is a function of the edge congestion, and network users are assumed to ..."
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Cited by 217 (17 self)
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We study the degradation in network performance caused by the selfish behavior of noncooperative network users. We consider a model of selfish routing in which the latency experienced by network traffic on an edge of the network is a function of the edge congestion, and network users are assumed to selfishly route traffic on minimumlatency paths. The quality of a routing of traffic is measured by the sum of travel times, also called the total latency. The outcome of selfish routing—a Nash equilibrium—does not in general minimize the total latency; hence, selfish behavior carries the cost of decreased network performance. We quantify this degradation in network performance via the price of anarchy, the worstpossible ratio between the total latency of a Nash equilibrium and of an optimal routing of the traffic. We show the price of anarchy is determined only by the simplest of networks. Specifically, we prove that under weak hypotheses on the class of allowable edge latency functions, the worstcase ratio between the total latency of a Nash equilibrium and of a minimumlatency routing for any multicommodity flow network is achieved by a singlecommodity
Engineering and economic applications of complementarity problems
 SIAM REVIEW
, 1997
"... This paper gives an extensive documentation of applications of finitedimensional nonlinear complementarity problems in engineering and equilibrium modeling. For most applications, we describe the problem briefly, state the defining equations of the model, and give functional expressions for the c ..."
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Cited by 195 (24 self)
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This paper gives an extensive documentation of applications of finitedimensional nonlinear complementarity problems in engineering and equilibrium modeling. For most applications, we describe the problem briefly, state the defining equations of the model, and give functional expressions for the complementarity formulations. The goal of this documentation is threefold: (i) to summarize the essential applications of the nonlinear complementarity problem known to date, (ii) to provide a basis for the continued research on the nonlinear complementarity problem, and (iii) to supply a broad collection of realistic complementarity problems for use in algorithmic experimentation and other studies.
The price of routing unsplittable flow
 In Proc. 37th Symp. Theory of Computing (STOC
, 2005
"... The essence of the routing problem in real networks is that the traffic demand from a source to destination must be satisfied by choosing a single path between source and destination. The splittable version of this problem is when demand can be satisfied by many paths, namely a flow from source to d ..."
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Cited by 140 (3 self)
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The essence of the routing problem in real networks is that the traffic demand from a source to destination must be satisfied by choosing a single path between source and destination. The splittable version of this problem is when demand can be satisfied by many paths, namely a flow from source to destination. The unsplittable, or discrete version of the problem is more realistic yet is more complex from the algorithmic point of view; in some settings optimizing such unsplittable traffic flow is computationally intractable. In this paper, we assume this more realistic unsplittable model, and investigate the ”price of anarchy”, or deterioration of network performance measured in total traffic latency under the selfish user behavior. We show that for linear edge latency functions the price of anarchy is exactly 2.618 for weighted demand and exactly 2.5 for unweighted demand. These results are easily extended to (weighted or unweighted) atomic ”congestion games”, where paths are replaced by general subsets. We also show that for polynomials of degree d edge latency functions the price of anarchy is dΘ(d). Our results hold also for mixed strategies. Previous results of Roughgarden and Tardos showed that for linear edge latency functions the price of anarchy is exactly 4 3 under the assumption that each user controls only a negligible fraction of the overall traffic (this result also holds for the splittable case). Note that under the assumption of negligible traffic pure and mixed strategies are equivalent and also splittable and unsplittable models are equivalent. 1
The Price of Selfish Routing
, 2007
"... We study the problem of routing traffic through a congested network. We focus on the simplest case of a network consisting of m parallel links. We assume a collection of n network users; each user employs a mixed strategy, which is a probability distribution over links, to control the shipping of ..."
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Cited by 132 (26 self)
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We study the problem of routing traffic through a congested network. We focus on the simplest case of a network consisting of m parallel links. We assume a collection of n network users; each user employs a mixed strategy, which is a probability distribution over links, to control the shipping of its own assigned traffic. Given a capacity for each link specifying the rate at which the link processes traffic, the objective is to route traffic so that the maximum (over all links) latency is minimized. We consider both uniform and arbitrary link capacities. How much decrease in global performance is necessary due to the absence of some central authority to regulate network traffic and implement an optimal assignment of traffic to links? We investigate this fundamental question in the context of Nash equilibria for such a system, where each network user selfishly routes its traffic only on those links available to it that minimize its expected latency cost, given the network congestion caused by the other users. We use the Coordination Ratio, originally defined by Koutsoupias and Papadimitriou [16], as a measure of the cost of lack of coordination among the users; roughly speaking, the Coordination Ratio is the ratio of the expectation of the maximum (over all links) latency in the worst possible Nash equilibrium, over the least possible maximum latency had global regulation been available. Our chief instrument is a set of combinatorial Minimum Expected Latency Cost Equations, one per user,
Stability of endtoend algorithms for joint routing and rate control
"... Dynamic multipath routing has the potential to improve the reliability and performance of a communication network, but carries a risk. Routing needs to respond quickly to achieve the potential benefits, but not so quickly that the network is destabilized. This paper studies how rapidly routing can ..."
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Cited by 115 (1 self)
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Dynamic multipath routing has the potential to improve the reliability and performance of a communication network, but carries a risk. Routing needs to respond quickly to achieve the potential benefits, but not so quickly that the network is destabilized. This paper studies how rapidly routing can respond, without compromising stability. We present a sufficient condition for the local stability of endtoend algorithms for joint routing and rate control. The network model considered allows an arbitrary interconnection of sources and resources, and heterogeneous propagation delays. The sufficient condition we present is decentralized: the responsiveness of each route is restricted by the roundtrip time of that route alone, and not by the roundtrip times of other routes. Our results suggest that stable, scalable loadsharing across paths, based on endtoend measurements, can be achieved on the same rapid timescale as rate control, namely the timescale of roundtrip times.
Pricing network edges for heterogeneous selfish users
 Proc. of STOC
, 2003
"... We study the negative consequences of selfish behavior in a congested network and economic means of influencing such behavior. We consider the model of selfish routing defined by Wardrop [30] and studied in a computer science context by Roughgarden and Tardos [26]. In this model, the latency experie ..."
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Cited by 113 (9 self)
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We study the negative consequences of selfish behavior in a congested network and economic means of influencing such behavior. We consider the model of selfish routing defined by Wardrop [30] and studied in a computer science context by Roughgarden and Tardos [26]. In this model, the latency experienced by network traffic on an edge of the network is a function of the edge congestion, and network users are assumed to selfishly route traffic on minimumlatency paths. The quality of a routing of traffic is measured by the sum of travel times (the total latency). It is well known that the outcome of selfish routing (a Nash equilibrium) does not minimize the total latency and can be improved upon with coordination. An ancient strategy for improving the selfish solution is the principle of marginal cost pricing, which asserts that on each edge of the network, each network user on the edge should pay a tax offsetting the congestion effects caused by its presence. By pricing network edges according to this principle, the inefficiency of selfish routing can always be eradicated. This result, while fundamental, assumes a very strong homogeneity property: all network users are assumed to trade off time and money in an identical way. The guarantee also ignores both the algorithmic