Designing Networks with Good Equilibria under Uncertainty

We will discuss ways to cope with inefficiency of equilibria in some cases of interest like congestion games. Then we will focus on the problem of designing network cost-sharing protocols with good equilibria under uncertainty.

The underlying game is a multicastgame in a rooted undirected graph with nonnegative edge costs. A set of k terminal vertices or players need to establish connectivity with the root. The social optimum is the Minimum Steiner Tree. We are interested in situations where the designer has incomplete information about the input. We propose two different models, the adversarial and the stochastic. In both models, the designer has prior knowledge of the underlying metric but the requested subset of the players is not known and is activated either in an adversarial manner (adversarial model) or is drawn from a known probability distribution (stochastic model). In the adversarial model, the goal of the designer is to choose a single, universal cost-sharing protocol that has low Price of Anarchy for all possible requested subsets of players.

The main question we will address is: to what extent can prior knowledge of the underlying metric help in the design of good protocols?

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