In this paper we consider the k-server problem where events are generated by selfish agents, known as the selfish k-server problem. In this setting, there is a set of k servers located in some metric space. Selfish agents arrive in an online fashion, each has a request located on some point in the metric space, and seeks to serve his request with the server of minimum distance to the request. If agents choose to serve their request with the nearest server, this mimics the greedy algorithm which has an unbounded competitive ratio. We propose an algorithm that associates a surcharge with each server independently of the agent to arrive (and therefore, yields a truthful online mechanism). An agent chooses to serve his request with the server that minimizes the distance to the request plus the associated surcharge to the server. This paper extends [9], which gave an optimal k-competitive dynamic pricing scheme for the selfish k-server problem on the line. We give a k-competitive dynamic pricing algorithm for the selfish k-server problem on tree metric spaces, which matches the optimal online (non truthful) algorithm. We show that an α-competitive dynamic pricing scheme exists on the tree if and only if there exists α-competitive online algorithm on the tree that is lazy and monotone. Given this characterization, the main technical difficulty is coming up with such an online algorithm.

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Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics
International Conference on Approximation Algorithms for Combinatorial Optimization Problems and International Conference on Randomization and Computation
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam (CWI), The Netherlands

Cohen, I., Eden, A., Fiat, A., & Jeż, Ł. (2019). Dynamic pricing of servers on trees. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (pp. 10:1–10:22). doi:10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2019.10