On the Existence and Uniqueness of Equilibrium in the Bottleneck Model with Atomic Users

H.E. Silva Montalva, V.A.C. van den Berg, R. Lindsey, A. de Palma

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper investigates the existence and uniqueness of equilibrium in the Vick-rey bottleneck model when each user controls a positive fraction of total traffic. Users simultaneously choose departure schedules for their vehicle fleets. Each user internalizes the congestion cost that each of its vehicles imposes on other vehicles in its fleet. We establish three results. First, a pure strategy Nash equilibrium (PSNE) may not exist. Second, if a PSNE does exist, identical users may incur appreciably different equilibrium costs. Finally, a multiplicity of PSNE can exist in which no queuing occurs but departures begin earlier or later than in the system optimum. The order in which users depart can be suboptimal as well. Nevertheless, by internalizing self-imposed congestion costs individual users can realize much, and possibly all, of the potential cost savings from either centralized traffic control or time-varying congestion tolls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-881
Number of pages19
JournalTransportation Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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