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Strategic cooperation in cost sharing games


  • Martin Hoefer



We examine strategic cost sharing games with so-called arbitrary sharing based on various combinatorial optimization problems. These games have recently been popular in computer science to study cost sharing in the context of the Internet. We concentrate on the existence and computational complexity of strong equilibria (SE), in which no coalition can improve the cost of each of its members. Our main result reveals a connection to the core in coalitional cost sharing games studied in operations research. For set cover and facility location games this results in a tight characterization of the existence of SE using the integrality gap of suitable linear programming formulations. Furthermore, it allows to derive all existing results for SE in network design cost sharing games with arbitrary sharing via a unified approach. In addition, we show that in general there is no efficiency loss, i.e., the strong price of anarchy is always 1. Finally, we indicate how the LP-approach is useful for the computation of near-optimal and near-stable approximate SE. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Hoefer, 2013. "Strategic cooperation in cost sharing games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 42(1), pages 29-53, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jogath:v:42:y:2013:i:1:p:29-53
    DOI: 10.1007/s00182-011-0312-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Epstein, Amir & Feldman, Michal & Mansour, Yishay, 2009. "Strong equilibrium in cost sharing connection games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 51-68, September.
    2. Andelman, Nir & Feldman, Michal & Mansour, Yishay, 2009. "Strong price of anarchy," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 289-317, March.
    3. Daniel Granot & Michael Maschler, 1998. "Spanning network games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 27(4), pages 467-500.
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    Cited by:

    1. Moulin, Hervé, 2014. "Pricing traffic in a spanning network," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 475-490.
    2. Vincent Mak & Darryl A. Seale & Eyran J. Gisches & Amnon Rapoport & Meng Cheng & Myounghee Moon & Rui Yang, 2018. "A network ridesharing experiment with sequential choice of transportation mode," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 85(3), pages 407-433, October.


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