The Price of Stability of Weighted Congestion Games

Christodoulou, George, Gairing, Martin, Giannakopoulos, Yiannis and Spirakis, Paul G
The Price of Stability of Weighted Congestion Games.

[img] Text
1802.09952v1.pdf - Submitted version

Download (775kB)


We give exponential lower bounds on the Price of Stability (PoS) of weighted congestion games with polynomial cost functions. In particular, for any positive integer $d$ we construct rather simple games with cost functions of degree at most $d$ which have a PoS of at least $\varOmega(\Phi_d)^{d+1}$, where $\Phi_d\sim d/\ln d$ is the unique positive root of equation $x^{d+1}=(x+1)^d$. This essentially closes the huge gap between $\varTheta(d)$ and $\Phi_d^{d+1}$ and asymptotically matches the Price of Anarchy upper bound. We further show that the PoS remains exponential even for singleton games. More generally, we also provide a lower bound of $\varOmega((1+1/\alpha)^d/d)$ on the PoS of $\alpha$-approximate Nash equilibria, even for singleton games. All our lower bounds extend to network congestion games, and hold for mixed and correlated equilibria as well. On the positive side, we give a general upper bound on the PoS of $\alpha$-approximate Nash equilibria, which is sensitive to the range $W$ of the player weights and the approximation parameter $\alpha$. We do this by explicitly constructing a novel approximate potential function, based on Faulhaber's formula, that generalizes Rosenthal's potential in a continuous, analytic way. From the general theorem, we deduce two interesting corollaries. First, we derive the existence of an approximate pure Nash equilibrium with PoS at most $(d+3)/2$; the equilibrium's approximation parameter ranges from $\varTheta(1)$ to $d+1$ in a smooth way with respect to $W$. Secondly, we show that for unweighted congestion games, the PoS of $\alpha$-approximate Nash equilibria is at most $(d+1)/\alpha$.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cs.GT, cs.GT
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2018 08:43
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 06:36
Related URLs: