Dynamic network congestion games

by   Nathalie Bertrand, et al.

Congestion games are a classical type of games studied in game theory, in which n players choose a resource, and their individual cost increases with the number of other players choosing the same resource. In network congestion games (NCGs), the resources correspond to simple paths in a graph, e.g. representing routing options from a source to a target. In this paper, we introduce a variant of NCGs, referred to as dynamic NCGs: in this setting, players take transitions synchronously, they select their next transitions dynamically, and they are charged a cost that depends on the number of players simultaneously using the same transition. We study, from a complexity perspective, standard concepts of game theory in dynamic NCGs: social optima, Nash equilibria, and subgame perfect equilibria. Our contributions are the following: the existence of a strategy profile with social cost bounded by a constant is in PSPACE and NP-hard. (Pure) Nash equilibria always exist in dynamic NCGs; the existence of a Nash equilibrium with bounded cost can be decided in EXPSPACE, and computing a witnessing strategy profile can be done in doubly-exponential time. The existence of a subgame perfect equilibrium with bounded cost can be decided in 2EXPSPACE, and a witnessing strategy profile can be computed in triply-exponential time.


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