A game-theoretic model for roadway performance management

Hesham Osman (Department of Structural Engineering, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt)
Mazdak Nikbakht (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Publication date: 28 January 2014



The purpose of this paper is to present a socio-technical approach to modeling the behavior of roadway users, asset managers, and politicians toward roadway performance and asset management. This approach models the complex interactions that occur between these agents in a complex system. Most modeling approaches in the domain of infrastructure asset management take a purely asset-centric approach and fail to address these socio-technical interactions.


Interactions among political decision makers, asset management strategy developers, and road users are modeled using a game-theoretic approach. The interactions are modeled as a non-cooperative game in which politicians, asset managers, and road users are the main players. Each player is autonomous and aims to come up with the set of moves to maximize their respective level of satisfaction in response to other players’ moves. Multi-attribute utility theory is used to deal with multitude of players’ goals, and the Nash equilibria of the game are south out to develop appropriate strategies for different players.


An illustrative example for a road network of a Canadian city is used to demonstrate the developed methodology. The developed methodology demonstrates how behaviors of various agents involved in the sphere of asset management impacts their collective decision-making behavior.


The developed framework provides asset managers and political decision makers with a valuable tool to evaluate the impact of public policy decisions related to asset managers on road performance and the overall satisfaction of road users.



Osman, H. and Nikbakht, M. (2014), "A game-theoretic model for roadway performance management ", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 40-54. https://doi.org/10.1108/BEPAM-03-2013-0004

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