Steering the aggregative behavior of noncooperative agents: A nudge framework

Mehran Shakarami, Ashish Cherukuri, Nima Monshizadeh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

This paper considers the problem of steering the aggregative behavior of a population of noncooperative price-taking agents towards a desired behavior. Different from conventional pricing schemes where the price is fully available for design, we consider the scenario where a system regulator broadcasts a price prediction signal that can be different from the actual price incurred by the agents. The resulting reliability issues are taken into account by including trust dynamics in our model, implying that the agents will not blindly follow the signal sent by the regulator, but rather follow it based on the history of its accuracy, i.e, its deviation from the actual price. We present several nudge mechanisms to generate suitable price prediction signals that are able to steer the aggregative behavior of the agents to stationary as well as temporal desired aggregative behaviors. We provide analytical convergence guarantees for the resulting multi-components models. In particular, we prove that the proposed nudge mechanisms earn and maintain full trust of the agents, and the aggregative behavior converges to the desired one. The analytical results are complemented by a numerical case study of coordinated charging of plug-in electric vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110003
Number of pages12
JournalAutomatica
Volume136
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2022

Keywords

  • Aggregative behavior
  • Noncooperative agents
  • Nudge
  • Projected dynamical systems

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