Unilateral Altruism in Network Routing Games with Atomic Players

Abstract : We study a routing game in which one of the players unilaterally acts altruistically by taking into consideration the latency cost of other players as well as his own. By not playing selfishly, a player can not only improve the other players' equilibrium utility but also improve his own equilibrium utility. To quantify the effect, we define a metric called the Value of Unilateral Altruism (VoU) to be the ratio of the equilibrium utility of the altruistic user to the equilibrium utility he would have received in Nash equilibrium if he were selfish. We show by example that the VoU, in a game with nonlinear latency functions and atomic players, can be arbitrarily large. Since the Nash equilibrium social welfare of this example is arbitrarily far from social optimum, this example also has a Price of Anarchy (PoA) that is unbounded. The example is driven by there being a small number of players since the same example with non-atomic players yields a Nash equilibrium that is fully efficient.
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Roberto Cominetti and Sylvain Sorin and Bruno Tuffin. NetGCOOP 2011 : International conference on NETwork Games, COntrol and OPtimization, Oct 2011, Paris, France. pp.8
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Amar Prakash Azad, John Musacchio. Unilateral Altruism in Network Routing Games with Atomic Players. Roberto Cominetti and Sylvain Sorin and Bruno Tuffin. NetGCOOP 2011 : International conference on NETwork Games, COntrol and OPtimization, Oct 2011, Paris, France. pp.8. 〈hal-00646340〉

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