Analyzing the Passivity of the Human Decision Making Rule in a Congestion Game Experiment

Norah K. Alghamdi, David A. Shamma, Jeff S. Shamma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


To achieve successful human-robot interaction, we have to study human decision making rules. This work investigates human learning rules in games with the presence of intelligent decision makers. Particularly, we analyze human behavior in a congestion game where a player distributes vehicles across two roads. This game is repeated for several rounds, so players can formulate a strategy. After each round, the cost of the roads is presented to the human player. The goal of all players is to minimize the total congestion experienced by the vehicles they control. To demonstrate our results, we first simulated a human player using the Fictitious Play and Regret Matching algorithms. Then, we demonstrated the passivity property of these algorithms after adjusting the passivity condition to suit discrete time formulation. Next, we conducted the experiment online where 83 participants played a total of 147 games. A similar analysis was performed on the collected data, to study the passivity of the human decision making rule. We observe different performances with the four types of different virtual players. However, in all cases, the human decision making rule conforms to the passivity condition. This result implies that humans can be modeled as passive decision makers, and systems can be designed to exploit this result, to obtain desirable outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2022 American Control Conference, ACC 2022
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781665451963
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 American Control Conference, ACC 2022 - Atlanta, United States
Duration: Jun 8 2022Jun 10 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Conference2022 American Control Conference, ACC 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by funding from KAUST.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Automatic Control Council.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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