Spring 2007 UMASS Amherst
Operations Research / Management Science Seminar Series

Date: Friday, February 23, 2007

Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Isenberg School of Management, Room 112

Speaker: Professor Asu Ozdaglar

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Biography: Asuman Ozdaglar received her B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering
from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, in 1996, and her S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, in 1998 and 2003, respectively.

Since February 2003, she has been a member of the faculty of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, and the Operations Research Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests include optimization theory, with emphasis on nonlinear programming and convex analysis; game theory; and network optimization and control. She is the co-author with Dimitri P. Bertsekas and Angelia Nedic of the book entitled, Convex Analysis and Optimization (Athena Scientific, 2003). She is the recipient of the Graduate Student Council Teaching Award, an NSF Career Award, and holds the Class of 1943 Career Development Chair at MIT.

TITLE: Competition and Efficiency in Congested Networks

Abstract: Central to the functioning of today's networks are the complex interactions between self-interested users, service providers, and network operators, and the multi-service requirements of new applications. While there has been much recent work on the allocation of resources among users with heterogeneous service requirements, emphasizing system-wide objectives and the use of prices as control parameters to regulate traffic in a distributed manner, the central role of the service providers in the design and operation of these networks have largely been neglected. Our work is a first attempt to explore some basic questions in this setting: Do prices continue to play the role of control parameters when they are set by service providers? What is the extent of degradation in network performance?

In this talk, we present new models to study price competition among service providers in the presence of congestion externalities. We show that increasing competition among oligopolists can reduce efficiency, measured as the difference between users' performance valuations and delay costs. We characterize tight bounds on the efficiency of pure strategy equilibria with inelastic and elastic traffic, and for different network topologies. We finally consider an environment where service providers compete over both capacities and prices.

This is joint work with Daron Acemoglu from the MIT Department of Economics. 
This series is organized by the UMASS Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter. Support for this series is provided by the Isenberg School of Management, the Department of Finance and Operations Management, INFORMS, and the John F. Smith Memorial Fund.

For questions, please contact the INFORMS Student Chapter Speaker Series Coordinator, Ms. Trisha Woolley, twoolley@som.umass.edu