Pricing for Multi-modal Pickup and Delivery Problems with Heterogeneous Users

17 Mar 2023  ·  Mark Beliaev, Negar Mehr, Ramtin Pedarsani ·

In this paper we study the pickup and delivery problem with multiple transportation modalities, and address the challenge of efficiently allocating transportation resources while price matching users with their desired delivery modes. Precisely, we consider that orders are demanded by a heterogeneous population of users with varying trade-offs between price and latency. To capture how prices affect the behavior of heterogeneous selfish users choosing between multiple delivery modes, we construct a congestion game taking place over a star network with independent sub-networks composed of parallel links connecting users with their preferred delivery method. Using the unique geometry of this network we prove that one can define prices explicitly to induce any desired network flow, i.e, given a desired allocation strategy we have a closed-form solution for the delivery prices. In connection with prior works that consider non-atomic congestion games, our result shows that one can simplify the Linear Program formulations used to solve for edge prices by first finding the path prices combinatorially. We conclude by performing a case study on a meal delivery problem with multiple courier modalities using data from real world instances.

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