An approach to transportation network analysis via transferable utility games

Yuval Hadas, Giorgio Gnecco, Marcello Sanguineti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Network connectivity is an important aspect of any transportation network, as the role of the network is to provide a society with the ability to easily travel from point to point using various modes. A basic question in network analysis concerns how “important” each node is. An important node might, for example, greatly contribute to short connections between many pairs of nodes, handle a large amount of the traffic, generate relevant information, represent a bridge between two areas, etc. In order to quantify the relative importance of nodes, one possible approach uses the concept of centrality. A limitation of classical centrality measures is the fact that they evaluate nodes based on their individual contributions to the functioning of the network. The present paper introduces a game theory approach, based on cooperative games with transferable utility. Given a transportation network, a game is defined taking into account the network topology, the weights associated with the arcs, and the demand based on an origin-destination matrix (weights associated with nodes). The network nodes represent the players in such a game. The Shapley value, which measures the relative importance of the players in transferable utility games, is used to identify the nodes that have a major role. For several network topologies, a comparison is made with well-known centrality measures. The results show that the suggested centrality measures outperform the classical ones, and provide an innovative approach for transportation network analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-143
Number of pages24
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Centrality measures
  • Games on graphs
  • Network analysis
  • Shapley value
  • Transferable utility games


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