We prove a general monotonicity result about Nash flows in directed networks and use it for the design of truthful mechanisms in the setting where each edge of the network is controlled by a different selfish agent, who incurs costs when her edge is used. The costs for each edge are assumed to be linear in the load on the edge. To compensate for these costs, the agents impose tolls for the usage of edges. When nonatomic selfish network users choose their paths through the network independently and each user tries to minimize a weighted sum of her latency and the toll she has to pay to the edges, a Nash flow is obtained. Our monotonicity result implies that the load on an edge in this setting can not increase when the toll on the edge is increased, so the assignment of load to the edges by a Nash flow yields a monotone algorithm. By a well-known result, the monotonicity of the algorithm then allows us to design truthful mechanisms based on the load assignment by Nash flows. Moreover, we consider a mechanism design setting with two-parameter agents, which is a generalization of the case of one-parameter agents considered in a seminal paper of Archer and Tardos. While the private data of an agent in the one-parameter case consists of a single nonnegative real number specifying the agent's cost per unit of load assigned to her, the private data of a two-parameter agent consists of a pair of nonnegative real numbers, where the first one specifies the cost of the agent per unit load as in the one-parameter case, and the second one specifies a fixed cost, which the agent incurs independently of the load assignment. We give a complete characterization of the set of output functions that can be turned into truthful mechanisms for two-parameter agents. Namely, we prove that an output function for the two-parameter setting can be turned into a truthful mechanism if and only if the load assigned to every agent is nonincreasing in the agent's bid for her per unit cost and, for almost all fixed bids for the agent's per unit cost, the load assigned to her is independent of the agent's bid for her fixed cost. When the load assigned to an agent is continuous in the agent's bid for her per unit cost, it must be completely independent of the agent's bid for her fixed cost. These results motivate our choice of linear cost functions without fixed costs for the edges in the selfish routing setting, but the results also seem to be interesting in the context of algorithmic mechanism design themselves.
The Train Marshalling Problem consists of rearranging an incoming train in a marshalling yard in such a way that cars with the same destinations appear consecutively in the final train and the number of needed sorting tracks is minimized. Besides an initial roll-in operation, just one pull-out operation is allowed. This problem was introduced by Dahlhaus et al. who also showed that the problem is NP-complete. In this paper, we provide a new lower bound on the optimal objective value by partitioning an appropriate interval graph. Furthermore, we consider the corresponding online problem, for which we provide upper and lower bounds on the competitiveness and a corresponding optimal deterministic online algorithm. We provide an experimental evaluation of our lower bound and algorithm which shows the practical tightness of the results.
In this paper the multi terminal q-FlowLoc problem (q-MT-FlowLoc) is introduced. FlowLoc problems combine two well-known modeling tools: (dynamic) network flows and locational analysis. Since the q-MT-FlowLoc problem is NP-hard we give a mixed integer programming formulation and propose a heuristic which obtains a feasible solution by calculating a maximum flow in a special graph H. If this flow is also a minimum cost flow, various versions of the heuristic can be obtained by the use of different cost functions. The quality of this solutions is compared.
We introduce a new game, the so-called bin coloring game, in which selfish players control colored items and each player aims at packing its item into a bin with as few different colors as possible. We establish the existence of Nash and strong as well as weakly and strictly Pareto optimal equilibria in these games in the cases of capacitated and uncapacitated bins. For both kinds of games we determine the prices of anarchy and stability concerning those four equilibrium concepts. Furthermore, we show that extreme Nash equilibria, those with minimal or maximal number of colors in a bin, can be found in time polynomial in the number of items for the uncapcitated case.
In a dynamic network, the quickest path problem asks for a path minimizing the time needed to send a given amount of flow from source to sink along this path. In practical settings, for example in evacuation or transportation planning, the reliability of network arcs depends on the specific scenario of interest. In this circumstance, the question of finding a quickest path among all those having at least a desired path reliability arises. In this article, this reliable quickest path problem is solved by transforming it to the restricted quickest path problem. In the latter, each arc is associated a nonnegative cost value and the goal is to find a quickest path among those not exceeding a predefined budget with respect to the overall (additive) cost value. For both, the restricted and reliable quickest path problem, pseudopolynomial exact algorithms and fully polynomial-time approximation schemes are proposed.
We present extensions to the Online Delay Management Problem on a Single Train Line. While a train travels along the line, it learns at each station how many of the passengers wanting to board the train have a delay of delta. If the train does not wait for them, they get delayed even more since they have to wait for the next train. Otherwise, the train waits and those passengers who were on time are delayed by delta. The problem consists in deciding when to wait in order to minimize the total delay of all passengers on the train line. We provide an improved lower bound on the competitive ratio of any deterministic online algorithm solving the problem using game tree evaluation. For the extension of the original model to two possible passenger delays delta_1 and delta_2, we present a 3-competitive deterministic online algorithm. Moreover, we study an objective function modeling the refund system of the German national railway company, which pays passengers with a delay of at least Delta a part of their ticket price back. In this setting, the aim is to maximize the profit. We show that there cannot be a deterministic competitive online algorithm for this problem and present a 2-competitive randomized algorithm.
In this paper we introduce a cooperative game based on the minimum cut tree problem which is also known as multi-terminal maximum flow problem. Minimum cut tree games are shown to be totally balanced and a solution in their core can be obtained in polynomial time. This special core allocation is closely related to the solution of the original graph theoretical problem. We give an example showing that the game is not supermodular in general, however, it is for special cases and for some of those we give an explicit formula for the calculation of the Shapley value.
In a dynamic network, the quickest path problem asks for a path such that a given amount of flow can be sent from source to sink via this path in minimal time. In practical settings, for example in evacuation or transportation planning, the problem parameters might not be known exactly a-priori. It is therefore of interest to consider robust versions of these problems in which travel times and/or capacities of arcs depend on a certain scenario. In this article, min-max versions of robust quickest path problems are investigated and, depending on their complexity status, exact algorithms or fully polynomial-time approximation schemes are proposed.
In this paper we consider the location of stops along the edges of an already existing public transportation network, as introduced in [SHLW02]. This can be the introduction of bus stops along some given bus routes, or of railway stations along the tracks in a railway network. The goal is to achieve a maximal covering of given demand points with a minimal number of stops. This bicriterial problem is in general NP-hard. We present a nite dominating set yielding an IP-formulation as a bicriterial set covering problem. We use this formulation to observe that along one single straight line the bicriterial stop location problem can be solved in polynomial time and present an e cient solution approach for this case. It can be used as the basis of an algorithm tackling real-world instances.
We study the complexity of finding extreme pure Nash equilibria in symmetric network congestion games and analyse how it depends on the graph topology and the number of users. In our context best and worst equilibria are those with minimum respectively maximum total latency. We establish that both problems can be solved by a Greedy algorithm with a suitable tie breaking rule on parallel links. On series-parallel graphs finding a worst Nash equilibrium is NP-hard for two or more users while finding a best one is solvable in polynomial time for two users and NP-hard for three or more. Additionally we establish NP-hardness in the strong sense for the problem of finding a worst Nash equilibrium on a general acyclic graph.