An Improved Bound for the Tree Conjecture in Network Creation Games

Jack Dippel, Adrian Vetta

We study Nash equilibria in the network creation game of Fabrikant et al.[10]. In this game a vertex can buy an edge to another vertex for a cost of $\alpha$, and the objective of each vertex is to minimize the sum of the costs of the edges it purchases plus the sum of the distances to every other vertex in the resultant network. A long-standing conjecture states that if $\alpha\ge n$ then every Nash equilibrium in the game is a spanning tree. We prove the conjecture holds for any $\alpha>3n-3$.

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