Prof. Dr. Max Klimm
Duration: - 31.05.2017
Technische Universität Berlin
Metropolitan infrastructures like public roads, telecommunication networks, the electric grid, and public transport are a key factor for quality of life as well as cultural and economic development. However, their installation and maintenance often requires huge efforts both in terms of financial or personal investments, and in terms of environmental burden. The huge effect of infrastructure design decisions on nature, society, and economy make sound infrastructure planning indispensable.
A main characteristic of infrastructure systems is that they are used by a large number of economically independent entities that strive to optimize their private goals instead of optimizing the overall network usage. This fact is apparent for publicly available services like public roads or transport, but matters also for electricity and gas networks that are operated and used by independent economic actors.
Since the last 50 years, such systems of independent decision makers are analyzed within the theory of noncooperative games. Based on the works of Nash and Wardrop, the central concepts of game theory are Nash equilibria and Wardop equilibria. Roughly speaking, a system is in equilibrium when none of its users can minimize its personal costs of the network usage by altering its usage patters.
To optimize the design and maintenance of the infrastructure networks above it is imperative to understand the conditions under which equilibria emerge, to assess their quality, and to design mechanisms that lead to good equilibria, e.g., in terms of a provable performance guarantee. These are the main goals of this project.