TY - GEN

T1 - Incentives and coordination in bottleneck models

AU - Babaioff, Moshe

AU - Oren, Sigal

N1 - Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018.

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - We study a variant of Vickrey’s classic bottleneck model. In our model there are n agents and each agent strategically chooses when to join a first-come-first-served observable queue. Agents dislike standing in line and they take actions in discrete time steps: we assume that each agent has a cost of 1 for every time step he waits before joining the queue and a cost of > for every time step he waits in the queue. At each time step a single agent can be processed. Before each time step, every agent observes the queue and strategically decides whether or not to join, with the goal of minimizing his expected cost. In this paper we focus on symmetric strategies which are arguably more natural as they require less coordination. This brings up the following twist to the usual price of anarchy question: what is the main source for the inefficiency of symmetric equilibria? is it the players’ strategic behavior or the lack of coordination? We present results for two different parameter regimes that are qualitatively very different: (i) when w is fixed and n grows, we prove a tight bound of 2 and show that the entire loss is due to the players’ selfish behavior (ii) when n is fixed and w grows, we prove a tight bound of (formula presented) and show that it is mainly due to lack of coordination: the same order of magnitude of loss is suffered by any symmetric profile.

AB - We study a variant of Vickrey’s classic bottleneck model. In our model there are n agents and each agent strategically chooses when to join a first-come-first-served observable queue. Agents dislike standing in line and they take actions in discrete time steps: we assume that each agent has a cost of 1 for every time step he waits before joining the queue and a cost of > for every time step he waits in the queue. At each time step a single agent can be processed. Before each time step, every agent observes the queue and strategically decides whether or not to join, with the goal of minimizing his expected cost. In this paper we focus on symmetric strategies which are arguably more natural as they require less coordination. This brings up the following twist to the usual price of anarchy question: what is the main source for the inefficiency of symmetric equilibria? is it the players’ strategic behavior or the lack of coordination? We present results for two different parameter regimes that are qualitatively very different: (i) when w is fixed and n grows, we prove a tight bound of 2 and show that the entire loss is due to the players’ selfish behavior (ii) when n is fixed and w grows, we prove a tight bound of (formula presented) and show that it is mainly due to lack of coordination: the same order of magnitude of loss is suffered by any symmetric profile.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85059001494&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/978-3-030-04612-5_3

DO - 10.1007/978-3-030-04612-5_3

M3 - Conference contribution

AN - SCOPUS:85059001494

SN - 9783030046118

T3 - Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)

SP - 37

EP - 50

BT - Web and Internet Economics - 14th International Conference, WINE 2018, Proceedings

A2 - Harks, Tobias

A2 - Christodoulou, George

PB - Springer Verlag

T2 - 14th International Conference on Web and Internet Economics, WINE 2018

Y2 - 15 December 2018 through 17 December 2018

ER -