Braess Paradox in the Laboratory: An Experimental Study of Route Choice in Traffic Networks with Asymmetric Costs

46 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2005

See all articles by Amnon Rapoport

Amnon Rapoport

University of Arizona - Eller College of Management

Tamar Kugler

University of Arizona - Eller College of Management

Subhasish Dugar

University of Calgary

Eyran J. Gisches

University of Arizona - Eller College of Management

Date Written: August 8, 2005

Abstract

The Braess Paradox (BP) in traffic and communication networks is a powerful illustration of the possible counterintuitive implications of the Nash equilibrium solution. It shows that, paradoxically, when one or more links are added to a weighted network with linear costs that depend on congestion with an attempt to improve it, and each user independently seeks her best possible route, then the equilibrium cost of travel of all users may increase. Extending previous research by Rapoport et al. (2005), we report the results of a new experiment with a richer topology and asymmetric link costs of travel designed to assess the descriptive power of the BP. Our results show that with experience in traversing the network players' choice frequencies approach the equilibrium solution as implied by the BP.

Keywords: Braess Paradox, traffic networks, linear costs, route choice, experiment

Suggested Citation

Rapoport, Amnon and Kugler, Tamar and Dugar, Subhasish and Gisches, Eyran J., Braess Paradox in the Laboratory: An Experimental Study of Route Choice in Traffic Networks with Asymmetric Costs (August 8, 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=783424 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.783424

Amnon Rapoport (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - Eller College of Management ( email )

McClelland Hall
P.O. Box 210108
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States
520-621-9325 (Phone)
520-621-4171 (Fax)

Tamar Kugler

University of Arizona - Eller College of Management ( email )

McClelland Hall
P.O. Box 210108
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States

Subhasish Dugar

University of Calgary ( email )

2500 University Drive, NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

Eyran J. Gisches

University of Arizona - Eller College of Management ( email )

McClelland Hall
P.O. Box 210108
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States

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