Near rationality and competitive equilibria in networked systems

Nicolas Christin, Jens Grossklags, John Chuang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

35 Scopus citations


A growing body of literature in networked systems research relies on game theory and mechanism design to model and address the potential lack of cooperation between self-interested users. Most game-theoretic models applied to system research only describe competitive equilibria in terms of pure Nash equilibria, that is, a situation where the strategy of each user is deterministic, and is her best response to the strategies of all the other users. However, the assumptions necessary for a pure Nash equilibrium to hold may be too stringent for practical systems. Using three case studies on network formation, computer security, and TCP congestion control, we outline the limits of game-theoretic models relying on Nash equilibria, and we argue that considering competitive equilibria of a more general form helps in assessing the accuracy of a game theoretic model, and can even help in reconciling predictions from game-theoretic models with empirically observed behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2004 Workshops
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)158113942X, 9781581139426
StatePublished - 2004
EventProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2004 Workshops - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: Aug 30 2004Sep 3 2004

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2004 Workshops


OtherProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2004 Workshops
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPortland, OR

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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