Reshared post from INFORMS

Very interesting! From the Wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braess%27s_paradox

The paradox is stated as follows: "For each point of a road network, let there be given the number of cars starting from it, and the destination of the cars. Under these conditions one wishes to estimate the distribution of traffic flow. Whether one street is preferable to another depends not only on the quality of the road, but also on the density of the flow. If every driver takes the path that looks most favorable to him, the resultant running times need not be minimal. Furthermore, it is indicated by an example that an extension of the road network may cause a redistribution of the traffic that results in longer individual running times."

The reason for this is that in a Nash equilibrium, drivers have no incentive to change their routes. If the system is not in a Nash equilibrium, selfish drivers must be able to improve their respective travel times by changing the routes they take. In the case of Braess's paradox, drivers will continue to switch until they reach Nash equilibrium, despite the reduction in overall performance.

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