Cord-Landwehr, Andreas; Lenzner, Pascal Network Creation Games: Think Global - Act Local. Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS) 2015: 248-260
We investigate a non-cooperative game-theoretic model for the formation of communication networks by selfish agents. Each agent aims for a central position at minimum cost for creating edges. In particular, the general model (Fabrikant et al., PODC'03) became popular for studying the structure of the Internet or social networks. Despite its significance, locality in this game was first studied only recently (Bilo et al., SPAA'14), where a worst case locality model was presented, which came with a high efficiency loss in terms of quality of equilibria. Our main contribution is a new and more optimistic view on locality: agents are limited in their knowledge and actions to their local view ranges, but can probe different strategies and finally choose the best. We study the influence of our locality notion on the hardness of computing best responses, convergence to equilibria, and quality of equilibria. Moreover, we compare the strength of local versus non-local strategy changes. Our results address the gap between the original model and the worst case locality variant. On the bright side, our efficiency results are in line with observations from the original model, yet we have a non-constant lower bound on the Price of Anarchy.