Oligopolistic Competitive Packet Routing

Authors Britta Peis, Bjoern Tauer, Veerle Timmermans, Laura Vargas Koch

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Author Details

Britta Peis
  • Department of Management Science, RWTH Aachen, Kackertstraße 7, 52072 Aachen, Germany
Bjoern Tauer
  • Department of Management Science, RWTH Aachen, Kackertstraße 7, 52072 Aachen, Germany
Veerle Timmermans
  • Department of Management Science, RWTH Aachen, Kackertstraße 7, 52072 Aachen, Germany
Laura Vargas Koch
  • Department of Management Science, RWTH Aachen, Kackertstraße 7, 52072 Aachen, Germany

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Britta Peis, Bjoern Tauer, Veerle Timmermans, and Laura Vargas Koch. Oligopolistic Competitive Packet Routing. In 18th Workshop on Algorithmic Approaches for Transportation Modelling, Optimization, and Systems (ATMOS 2018). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 65, pp. 13:1-13:22, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)


Oligopolistic competitive packet routing games model situations in which traffic is routed in discrete units through a network over time. We study a game-theoretic variant of packet routing, where in contrast to classical packet routing, we are lacking a central authority to decide on an oblivious routing protocol. Instead, selfish acting decision makers ("players") control a certain amount of traffic each, which needs to be sent as fast as possible from a player-specific origin to a player-specific destination through a commonly used network. The network is represented by a directed graph, each edge of which being endowed with a transit time, as well as a capacity bounding the number of traffic units entering an edge simultaneously. Additionally, a priority policy on the set of players is publicly known with respect to which conflicts at intersections are resolved. We prove the existence of a pure Nash equilibrium and show that it can be constructed by sequentially computing an integral earliest arrival flow for each player. Moreover, we derive several tight bounds on the price of anarchy and the price of stability in single source games.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Networks → Network algorithms
  • Competitive Packet Routing
  • Nash Equilibrium
  • Oligopoly
  • Efficiency of Equilibria
  • Priority Policy


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