Designing Networks with Good Equilibria under Uncertainty

Christodoulou, George and Sgouritsa, Alkmini
(2015) Designing Networks with Good Equilibria under Uncertainty. .

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We consider the problem of designing network cost-sharing protocols with good equilibria under uncertainty. The underlying game is a multicast game in a rooted undirected graph with nonnegative edge costs. A set of k terminal vertices or players need to establish connectivity with the root. The social optimum is the Minimum Steiner Tree. We are interested in situations where the designer has incomplete information about the input. We propose two different models, the adversarial and the stochastic. In both models, the designer has prior knowledge of the underlying metric but the requested subset of the players is not known and is activated either in an adversarial manner (adversarial model) or is drawn from a known probability distribution (stochastic model). In the adversarial model, the designer's goal is to choose a single, universal protocol that has low Price of Anarchy (PoA) for all possible requested subsets of players. The main question we address is: to what extent can prior knowledge of the underlying metric help in the design? We first demonstrate that there exist graphs (outerplanar) where knowledge of the underlying metric can dramatically improve the performance of good network design. Then, in our main technical result, we show that there exist graph metrics, for which knowing the underlying metric does not help and any universal protocol has PoA of $\Omega(\log k)$, which is tight. We attack this problem by developing new techniques that employ powerful tools from extremal combinatorics, and more specifically Ramsey Theory in high dimensional hypercubes. Then we switch to the stochastic model, where each player is independently activated. We show that there exists a randomized ordered protocol that achieves constant PoA. By using standard derandomization techniques, we produce a deterministic ordered protocol with constant PoA.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Unspecified)
Additional Information: This version has additional results about stochastic input
Uncontrolled Keywords: cs.GT, cs.GT
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2016 09:42
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2022 03:14
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