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Analysis of inter-domain collaborative routing: provider competition for clients

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4 Author(s)
Martin O. Nicholes ; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Davis, 95616, USA ; Chen-Nee Chuah ; Shyhtsun Felix Wu ; Biswanath Mukherjee

Any server offering a routing service in the Internet would naturally be in competition for clients, and clients may need to utilize service from a specific server in order to achieve a desired result. We study the various properties of this competition, such as the fraction of route requests handled by a routing service provider and the fraction of total revenue obtained. As the routing service providers (i.e., servers or routers in this context) compete, they may alter behavior in order to optimize one of the above properties. For example, a service provider may lower the price charged for its service, in order to increase the number of clients served. Our models are based on servers offering a routing service to clients within representative network topologies based on actual Internet sub-graphs. These models provide a framework for evaluating competition in the Internet. We monitor key aspects of the service, as several variables are introduced into the models. The first variable is the fraction of client requests that will pay more for a better quality route. The remaining requests are normal client requests that are satisfied by the most economical route. The second variable is the fraction of servers who choose to lower service prices in order to maximize the number of client requests served. As this fraction increases, it is more likely that a server will lower the price. Finally, there are some resource constraints applied to the model, to increase the difficulty in providing a routing solution, i.e., to simulate a realistic scenario. We seek to understand the effect on the overall network, as service providers compete. In simple cases, we show that this competition could have a negative impact on the overall efficiency of a service. We show that the routing variety present in the larger models is unable to mask this tendency and the routing service performance is decreased due to competition.

Published in:

Journal of Communications and Networks  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 5 )