Effect of Information in Congestion Games

Saurabh Amin
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

We consider the problem of estimating individual and social welfare in congestion games where travelers have asymmetric access to information about incidents on network links. We propose a new Bayesian congestion game to model the heterogeneity in the travelers’ access to traffic information, and study the equilibrium structure as the fraction of better-informed players (or highly-informed travelers) increases. Our results suggest that the better information improves individual welfare, but the value of information is zero after a certain threshold fraction of highly informed travelers. Moreover, under a broad range of parameters, there exist another threshold (lower than the first threshold) after which increasing the relative fraction of highly informed travelers does not reduce aggregate social costs.

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