Coalitions in Routing Games: A Worst-Case Perspective: A Worst-Case Perspective

Gideon Blocq, Ariel Orda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate a routing game that allows for the creation of coalitions, within the framework of cooperative game theory. Specifically, we describe the cost of each coalition as its maximin value. This represents the performance that the coalition can guarantee itself, under any (including worst) conditions. We then investigate fundamental solution concepts of the considered cooperative game, namely the core and a variant of the min-max fair nucleolus. We consider two types of routing games based on the agents' Performance Objectives, namely bottleneck routing games and additive routing games. For bottleneck games, we establish that the core includes all system-optimal flow profiles and that the nucleolus is system-optimal or disadvantageous for the smallest agent in the system. Moreover, we describe an interesting set of scenarios for which the nucleolus is always system-optimal. For additive games, we focus on the fundamental load balancing game of routing over parallel links. We establish that, contrary to bottleneck games, not all system-optimal flow profiles lie in the core. However, we describe a specific system-optimal flow profile that does lie in the core and, under assumptions of symmetry, is equal to the nucleolus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8493290
Pages (from-to)857-870
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Atomic splittable routing games
  • additive objectives
  • bottleneck objectives
  • cooperative game theory
  • core
  • non-transferable utility coalitional games
  • nucleolus
  • worst-case analysis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications


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