Game Theoretic Models of Connectivity Among Internet Access Providers

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dc.contributor.advisor Haller, Hans en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Eckel, Catherine en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Gilles, Robert P. en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Barkhi, Reza en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Spanos, Aris en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Lutz, Nancy en_US
dc.contributor.author Badasyan, Narine en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-08-22T19:02:25Z
dc.date.available 2011-08-22T19:02:25Z
dc.date.issued 2004-06-09 en_US
dc.identifier.other etd-06182004-131213 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10919/11193
dc.description.abstract The Internet has a loosely hierarchical structure. At the top of the hierarchy are the backbones, also called Internet Access Providers (hereafter IAPs). The second layer of the hierarchy is comprised of Internet Service Providers (hereafter ISPs). At the bottom of the hierarchy are the end users, consumers, who browse the web, and websites. To provide access to the whole Internet, the providers must interconnect with each other and share their network infrastructure. Two main forms of interconnection have emerged __ peering under which the providers carry each other's traffic without any payments and transit under which the downstream provider pays the upstream provider a certain settlement payment for carrying its traffic. This dissertation develops three game theoretical models to describe the interconnection agreements among the providers, and analysis of those models from two alternative modeling perspectives: a purely non-cooperative game and a network perspective. There are two original contributions of the dissertation. First, we model the formation of peering/transit contracts explicitly as a decision variable in a non-cooperative game, while the current literature does not employ such modeling techniques. Second, we apply network analysis to examine interconnection decisions of the providers, which yields much realistic results. Chapter 1 provides a brief description of the Internet history, architecture and infrastructure as well as the economic literature. In Chapter 2 we develop a model, in which IAPs decide on private peering agreements, comparing the benefits of private peering relative to being connected only through National Access Points (hereafter NAPs). The model is formulated as a multistage game. Private peering agreements reduce congestion in the Internet, and so improve the quality of IAPs. The results show that even though the profits are lower with private peerings, due to large investments, the network where all the providers privately peer is the stable network. Chapter 3 discusses the interconnection arrangements among ISPs. Intra-backbone peering refers to peering between ISPs connected to the same backbone, whereas inter-backbone peering refers to peering between ISPs connected to different backbones. We formulate the model as a two-stage game. Peering affects profits through two channels - reduction of backbone congestion and ability to send traffic circumventing congested backbones. The relative magnitude of these factors helps or hinders peering. In Chapter 4 we develop a game theoretic model to examine how providers decide who they want to peer with and who has to pay transit. There is no regulation with regard to interconnection policies of providers, though there is a general convention that the providers peer if they perceive equal benefits from peering, and have transit arrangements otherwise. The model discusses a set of conditions, which determine the formation of peering and transit agreements. We argue that market forces determine the terms of interconnection, and there is no need for regulation to encourage peering. Moreover, Pareto optimum is achieved under the transit arrangements. en_US
dc.format.medium ETD en_US
dc.publisher Virginia Tech en_US
dc.relation.haspart Dissertation_Badasyan.pdf en_US
dc.rights The authors of the theses and dissertations are the copyright owners. Virginia Tech's Digital Library and Archives has their permission to store and provide access to these works. en_US
dc.source.uri http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-06182004-131213 en_US
dc.subject Pairwise Stability en_US
dc.subject Nash Equilibrium en_US
dc.subject Peering en_US
dc.subject Transit en_US
dc.subject Internet en_US
dc.title Game Theoretic Models of Connectivity Among Internet Access Providers en_US
dc.type Other - Dissertation en_US
dc.contributor.department Economics en_US
dc.description.degree PHD en_US

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