A Strategic Routing Framework and Algorithms for Computing Alternative Paths

Authors Thomas Bläsius, Maximilian Böther , Philipp Fischbeck , Tobias Friedrich , Alina Gries , Falk Hüffner, Otto Kißig , Pascal Lenzner , Louise Molitor , Leon Schiller , Armin Wells , Simon Wietheger

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Thomas Bläsius
  • Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Germany
Maximilian Böther
  • Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Germany
Philipp Fischbeck
  • Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Germany
Tobias Friedrich
  • Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Germany
Alina Gries
  • Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Germany
Falk Hüffner
  • TomTom Location Technology Germany GmbH, Berlin, Germany
Otto Kißig
  • Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Germany
Pascal Lenzner
  • Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Germany
Louise Molitor
  • Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Germany
Leon Schiller
  • Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Germany
Armin Wells
  • Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Germany
Simon Wietheger
  • Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Germany


We want to thank TomTom Location Technology Germany GmbH for supplying us with the data necessary for our experiments.

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Thomas Bläsius, Maximilian Böther, Philipp Fischbeck, Tobias Friedrich, Alina Gries, Falk Hüffner, Otto Kißig, Pascal Lenzner, Louise Molitor, Leon Schiller, Armin Wells, and Simon Wietheger. A Strategic Routing Framework and Algorithms for Computing Alternative Paths. In 20th Symposium on Algorithmic Approaches for Transportation Modelling, Optimization, and Systems (ATMOS 2020). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 85, pp. 10:1-10:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)


Traditional navigation services find the fastest route for a single driver. Though always using the fastest route seems desirable for every individual, selfish behavior can have undesirable effects such as higher energy consumption and avoidable congestion, even leading to higher overall and individual travel times. In contrast, strategic routing aims at optimizing the traffic for all agents regarding a global optimization goal. We introduce a framework to formalize real-world strategic routing scenarios as algorithmic problems and study one of them, which we call Single Alternative Path (SAP), in detail. There, we are given an original route between a single origin-destination pair. The goal is to suggest an alternative route to all agents that optimizes the overall travel time under the assumption that the agents distribute among both routes according to a psychological model, for which we introduce the concept of Pareto-conformity. We show that the SAP problem is NP-complete, even for such models. Nonetheless, assuming Pareto-conformity, we give multiple algorithms for different variants of SAP, using multi-criteria shortest path algorithms as subroutines. Moreover, we prove that several natural models are in fact Pareto-conform. The implementation and evaluation of our algorithms serve as a proof of concept, showing that SAP can be solved in reasonable time even though the algorithms have exponential running time in the worst case.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Routing and network design problems
  • Routing
  • Strategic Routing
  • Selfish Routing
  • Route Planning
  • Network Flow
  • Algorithm Design


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