Distributed optimization by myopic strategic interactions and the price of heterogeneity

Bahman Gharesifard, Behrouz Touri, Tamer Başar, Cedric Langbort

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper is concerned with the tradeoffs between low-cost heterogenous designs and optimality. We study a class of constrained myopic strategic games on networks which approximate the solutions to a constrained quadratic optimization problem; the Nash equilibria of these games can be found using best-response dynamical systems, which only use local information. The notion of price of heterogeneity captures the quality of our approximations. This notion relies on the structure and the strength of the interconnections between agents. We study the stability properties of these dynamical systems and demonstrate their complex characteristics, including abundance of equilibria on graphs with high sparsity and heterogeneity. We also introduce the novel notions of social equivalence and social dominance, and show some of their interesting implications, including their correspondence to consensus. Finally, using a classical result of Hirsch [1], we fully characterize the stability of these dynamical systems for the case of star graphs with asymmetric interactions. Various examples illustrate our results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2013 IEEE 52nd Annual Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2013
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781467357173
StatePublished - 2013
Event52nd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2013 - Florence, Italy
Duration: Dec 10 2013Dec 13 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)0743-1546
ISSN (Electronic)2576-2370


Other52nd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Control and Optimization


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