Topics in the Analysis and Optimization of Decentralized Systems

Aug 19, 2022 10:00 AM Singapore (Registration will open at 09:50 AM.)


What is the minimum car fleet size of a ride-hailing platform required to serve a given transport demand? In a sharing economy do prices yield unique results? Do crowdsourced platforms operate as efficiently as the ones where operations are managed centrally?

To answer these and other related questions we will consider an abstract setting of resource allocation games between a continuum of semi Markov decision processes. While most theoretical questions remain open for arbitrary discounting, in this talk we present the basic theory for the average case, i.e., when discounting approaches zero. As it turns out in this case, the existence of stationary equilibria and the investigation of their properties rest on an Eisenberg-Gale type of convex program. While equilibria may fail to be Pareto efficient, the price of anarchy equals 2 in the homogenous case (and ∞ more generally). In the specific case of ride-hailing platforms we will deal with the issues of price selection, dynamic pricing and fleet size.

About the Speaker

Prof. Costas A Courcoubetis was born in Athens, Greece and received his Diploma (1977) from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, his MS (1980) and PhD (1982) from the University of California, Berkeley, in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He was MTS at the Mathematics Research Centre, Bell Laboratories, Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Crete, Professor in the Department of Informatics at the Athens University of Economics and Business, Professor and Associate Head in the ESD Pillar, Singapore University of Technology and Design, and since 2021 Presidential Chair Professor in SDS, CUHK, Shenzhen. His current research interests include sharing economy and mobility, economics and performance analysis of networks and internet technologies, regulation policy, smart grids and energy systems, resource sharing and auctions.

For more information about the ESD Seminar, please email

Costas Courcoubetis (Chinese University of Hong Kong) - Topics in the Analysis and Optimization of Decentralized Systems