Price of anarchy in transportation networks: Efficiency and optimality control

Hyejin Youn, Michael T. Gastner, Hawoong Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

183 Citations (Scopus)


Uncoordinated individuals in human society pursuing their personally optimal strategies do not always achieve the social optimum, the most beneficial state to the society as a whole. Instead, strategies form Nash equilibria which are often socially suboptimal. Society, therefore, has to pay a price of anarchy for the lack of coordination among its members. Here we assess this price of anarchy by analyzing the travel times in road networks of several major cities. Our simulation shows that uncoordinated drivers possibly waste a considerable amount of their travel time. Counterintuitively, simply blocking certain streets can partially improve the traffic conditions. We analyze various complex networks and discuss the possibility of similar paradoxes in physics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128701
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2008


Dive into the research topics of 'Price of anarchy in transportation networks: Efficiency and optimality control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this