Inefficiency in Networks with Multiple Sources and Sinks

  • Hyejin Youn
  • Michael T. Gastner
  • Hawoong Jeong
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 4)


We study the problem of optimizing traffic in decentralized transportation networks, where the cost of a link depends on its congestion. If users of a transportation network are permitted to choose their own routes, they generally try to minimize their personal travel time. In the absence of centralized coordination, such a behavior can be inefficient for society and even for each individual user. This inefficiency can be quantified by the “price of anarchy”, the ratio of the suboptimal total cost to the socially optimal cost. Here we study the price of anarchy in multi-commodity networks, (i.e., networks where traffic simultaneously flows between different origins and destinations).


flow optimization transportation network Nash equilibrium multi-commodity flow 


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Science, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyejin Youn
    • 1
  • Michael T. Gastner
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Hawoong Jeong
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsKorea Advanced Institute of Science and TechnologyDaejeonKorea
  2. 2.Santa Fe InstituteSanta FeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine EnvironmentCarl von Ossietzky UniversitätOldenburgGermany

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