We consider algorithmic questions concerning the existence,
tractability and quality of atomic congestion games, among users that
are considered to participate in (static) selfish coalitions. We carefully
define a coalitional congestion model among atomic players.
Our findings in this model are quite interesting, in the sense that we
demonstrate many similarities with the non–cooperative case. For example,
there exist potentials proving the existence of Pure Nash Equilibria
(PNE) in the (even unrelated) parallel links setting; the Finite Improvement
Property collapses as soon as we depart from linear delays, but
there is an exact potential (and thus PNE) for the case of linear delays,
in the network setting; the Price of Anarchy on identical parallel
links demonstrates a quite surprising threshold behavior: it persists on
being asymptotically equal to that in the case of the non–cooperative
KP–model, unless we enforce a sublogarithmic number of coalitions.
We also show crucial differences, mainly concerning the hardness of algorithmic
problems that are solved efficiently in the non–cooperative case.
Although we demonstrate convergence to robust PNE, we also prove the
hardness of computing them. On the other hand, we can easily construct
a generalized fully mixed Nash Equilibrium. Finally, we propose a new
improvement policy that converges to PNE that are robust against (even
dynamically forming) coalitions of small size, in pseudo–polynomial time.
Keywords. Game Theory, Atomic Congestion Games, Coalitions, Convergence
to Equilibria, Price of Anarchy.