How bad is selfish routing in practice? [article]

Barnabé Monnot, Francisco Benita, Georgios Piliouras
2017 arXiv   pre-print
Routing games are one of the most successful domains of application of game theory. It is well understood that simple dynamics converge to equilibria, whose performance is nearly optimal regardless of the size of the network or the number of agents. These strong theoretical assertions prompt a natural question: How well do these pen-and-paper calculations agree with the reality of everyday traffic routing? We focus on a semantically rich dataset from Singapore's National Science Experiment that
more » ... captures detailed information about the daily behavior of thousands of Singaporean students. Using this dataset, we can identify the routes as well as the modes of transportation used by the students, e.g. car (driving or being driven to school) versus bus or metro, estimate source and sink destinations (home-school) and trip duration, as well as their mode-dependent available routes. We quantify both the system and individual optimality. Our estimate of the Empirical Price of Anarchy lies between 1.11 and 1.22. Individually, the typical behavior is consistent from day to day and nearly optimal, with low regret for not deviating to alternative paths.
arXiv:1703.01599v2 fatcat:rjpkl3qspjgctluoq32cangs74