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Optimal ISP subscription for Internet multihoming: algorithm design and implication analysis

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5 Author(s)
Wang, H. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Yale Univ., New Haven, CT, USA ; Xie, H. ; Qiu, L. ; Silberschatz, A.
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Multihoming is a popular method used by large enterprises and stub ISPs to connect to the Internet to reduce cost and improve performance. Recently researchers have studied the potential benefits of multihoming and proposed protocols and algorithms to realize these benefits. They focus on how to dynamically select which ISPs to use for forwarding and receiving packets, and assume that the set of subscribed ISPs is given a priori. In practice, a user often has the freedom to choose which subset of ISPs among all available ISPs to subscribe to. We call the problem of how to choose the optimal set of ISPs the ISP subscription problem. In this paper, We design a dynamic programming algorithm to solve the ISP subscription problem optimally. We also design a more efficient algorithm for a large class of common pricing functions. Using real traffic traces and realistic pricing data, we show that our algorithm reduces users' cost. Next we study how ISPs respond to users' optimal ISP subscription by adjusting their pricing strategies. We call this problem the ISP pricing problem. Using a realistic charging model, we formulate the problem as a non-cooperative game. We first prove that if cost is the only criterion used by a user to determine which subset of ISPs to subscribe to, at any equilibrium all ISPs receive zero revenue. We then study a more practical formulation in which different ISPs provide different levels of reliability and users choose ISPs to both improve reliability and reduce cost. We analyze this problem and show that at any equilibrium an ISP's revenue is positive and determined by its reliability.

Published in:

INFOCOM 2005. 24th Annual Joint Conference of the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies. Proceedings IEEE  (Volume:4 )

Date of Conference:

13-17 March 2005