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Author Roughgarden, Tim ♦ Tardos, va
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Copyright Year ©2002
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Data processing & computer science
Subject Keyword Braess's Paradox ♦ Nash equilibria ♦ Network flow ♦ Selfish routing
Abstract We consider the problem of routing traffic to optimize the performance of a congested network. We are given a network, a rate of traffic between each pair of nodes, and a latency function for each edge specifying the time needed to traverse the edge given its congestion; the objective is to route traffic such that the sum of all travel times---the total latency---is minimized.In many settings, it may be expensive or impossible to regulate network traffic so as to implement an optimal assignment of routes. In the absence of regulation by some central authority, we assume that each network user routes its traffic on the minimum-latency path available to it, given the network congestion caused by the other users. In general such a "selfishly motivated" assignment of traffic to paths will not minimize the total latency; hence, this lack of regulation carries the cost of decreased network performance.In this article, we quantify the degradation in network performance due to unregulated traffic. We prove that if the latency of each edge is a linear function of its congestion, then the total latency of the routes chosen by selfish network users is at most 4/3 times the minimum possible total latency (subject to the condition that all traffic must be routed). We also consider the more general setting in which edge latency functions are assumed only to be continuous and nondecreasing in the edge congestion. Here, the total latency of the routes chosen by unregulated selfish network users may be arbitrarily larger than the minimum possible total latency; however, we prove that it is no more than the total latency incurred by optimally routing $\textit{twice}$ as much traffic.
ISSN 00045411
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2002-03-01
Publisher Place New York
e-ISSN 1557735X
Journal Journal of the ACM (JACM)
Volume Number 49
Issue Number 2
Page Count 24
Starting Page 236
Ending Page 259


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Source: ACM Digital Library