Temporal Network Creation Games

Davide Bilò, Sarel Cohen, Tobias Friedrich, Hans Gawendowicz, Nicolas Klodt, Pascal Lenzner, George Skretas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Most networks are not static objects, but instead they change over time. This observation has sparked rigorous research on temporal graphs within the last years. In temporal graphs, we have a fixed set of nodes and the connections between them are only available at certain time steps. This gives rise to a plethora of algorithmic problems on such graphs, most prominently the problem of finding temporal spanners, i.e., the computation of subgraphs that guarantee all pairs reachability via temporal paths. To the best of our knowledge, only centralized approaches for the solution of this problem are known. However, many real-world networks are not shaped by a central designer but instead they emerge and evolve by the interaction of many strategic agents. This observation is the driving force of the recent intensive research on game-theoretic network formation models. In this work we bring together these two recent research directions: temporal graphs and game-theoretic network formation. As a first step into this new realm, we focus on a simplified setting where a complete temporal host graph is given and the agents, corresponding to its nodes, selfishly create incident edges to ensure that they can reach all other nodes via temporal paths in the created network. This yields temporal spanners as equilibria of our game. We prove results on the convergence to and the existence of equilibrium networks, on the complexity of finding best agent strategies, and on the quality of the equilibria. By taking these first important steps, we uncover challenging open problems that call for an in-depth exploration of the creation of temporal graphs by strategic agents.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 32nd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI 2023
EditorsEdith Elkind
PublisherInternational Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781956792034
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes
Event32nd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI 2023 - Macao, China
Duration: 19 Aug 202325 Aug 2023

Publication series

NameIJCAI International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence
ISSN (Print)1045-0823


Conference32nd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI 2023

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