Multi-Objective Road Pricing: A Game Theoretic and Multi-Stakeholder Approach


Ohazulike, Anthony E. and Bliemer, Michiel C.J. and Still, Georg and Berkum, Eric C. van (2012) Multi-Objective Road Pricing: A Game Theoretic and Multi-Stakeholder Approach. In: 91st Annual Meeting pof the Transportation Research Board (TRB), January 22-26, 2012, Washington, DC, USA.

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Abstract:Costs associated with traffic externalities such as congestion, air pollution, noise, safety, etcetera are becoming “unbearable”. The Braess paradox shows that combating congestion by adding infrastructure may not improve traffic conditions, and geographical and/or financial constraints may not allow infrastructure expansion. Road pricing presents an alternative to combat the mentioned externalities. The traditional way of road pricing, namely; congestion charging, may create negative benefits for the society and stakeholders, thus, defeating its main purpose (increasing transportation efficiency and social welfare). We study a road pricing that encompasses all the mentioned externalities. A meanwhile standard approach to deal with conflicting objectives (externalities) are models from Multi-objective Optimization. This approach assumes that there is one leader stakeholder/decision-maker. But then, if more than one stakeholder participates in the road pricing, the concept of Nash equilibrium (NE) from economics may constitute an alternative model. Using game theoretic approach, we study and extend the single authority road pricing scheme (Stackelberg game) to a pricing scheme with multiple authorities/regions (with likely contradicting objectives). Our model includes users interests in the upper level - giving a promising model that deals with user acceptability of road pricing. We investigate the existence of NE among actors and prove that no pure NE exists in general. Then again, NE may exist under special conditions. Since NE may not exist, and since competition may deteriorate the social welfare, we further design a mechanism that simultaneously induces a pure NE and cooperative behaviour among actors, thus, yielding optimal tolls for the system.
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Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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