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45th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (2004)
Rome, Italy
Oct. 17, 2004 to Oct. 19, 2004
ISSN: 0272-5428
ISBN: 0-7695-2228-9
pp: 277-285
Lisa Fleischer , IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
Kamal Jain , Microsoft Research
Mohammad Mahdian , Microsoft Research
<p>We prove the existence of tolls to induce multicommodity, heterogeneous network users that independently choose routes minimizing their own linear function of tolls versus latency to collectively form the traffic pattern of a minimum average latency flow. This generalizes both the previous known results of the existence of tolls for multicommodity, homogeneous users [1] and for single commodity, heterogeneous users [3].</p> <p>Unlike previous proofs for single commodity users in general graphs, our proof is constructive - it does not rely on a fixed point theorem - and results in a simple polynomial-sized linear program to compute tolls when the number of different types of users is bounded by a polynomial.</p> <p>We show that our proof gives a complete characterization of flows that are enforceable by tolls. In particular, tolls exist to induce any traffic pattern that is the result of minimizing an arbitrary function from \mathbb{R}^{E(G)} to the reals that is nondecreasing in each of its arguments. Thus, tolls exist to induce flows with minimum average weighted latency, minimum maximum latency, and other natural objectives.</p> <p>We give an exponential bound on tolls that is independent of the number of network users and the number of commodities. We use this to show that multicommodity tolls also exist when users are not from discrete classes, but instead define a general function that trades off latency versus toll preference.</p> <p>Finally, we show that our result extends to very general frameworks. In particular, we show that tolls exist to induce the Nash equilibrium of general nonatomic congestion games to be system optimal. In particular, tolls exist even when 1) latencies depend on user type; 2) latency functions are nonseparable functions of traffic on edges; 3) the latency of a set S is an arbitrary function of the latencies of the resources contained in S. Our exponential bound on size of tolls also holds in this case; and we give an example of a congestion game that shows this is tight: it requires tolls that are exponential in the size of the game.</p>

K. Jain, M. Mahdian and L. Fleischer, "Tolls for Heterogeneous Selfish Users in Multicommodity Networks and Generalized Congestion Games," 45th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science(FOCS), Rome, Italy, 2004, pp. 277-285.
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