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Communications and Signal Processing Seminar

Economic Models of Network Neutrality and of Future Internet Designs

George Kesidis ProfessorPenn State University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Economic forces have always played a critical role in the evolution of the Internet. We will begin by giving a perspective on current trends in network neutrality and then show how some of the issues in play can be studied using game-theoretic models. In this talk aimed at a general audience, we first consider a simple two-sided market model of an Internet Service (access) Provider (ISP) and Content Provider (CP, over commodity Internet access) on a platform of user demand. The model can account for advertising revenue, multiple ISP service classes, separate price sensitivities for each provider type, and side-payments from CP to ISP. We argue that side-payments are effectively in play even under network-neutrality regulations owing to considerations in Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) of asymmetries in traffic aggregates at the boundaries between eyeball ISPs and transit ISPs, the latter serving the CPs remote to the eyeball ISPs. We also describe a game between content providers based on "managed" and commodity-Internet-access services. Extensions to settings with congestion and competition among multiple providers of each type will also be discussed. Finally, we address proposed "content centric" networks and our recent work on wireless access. This research in collaboration with S. Fdida of UPMC, S. Sarkar of U.Penn., and our students, is supported by the National Science Foundation.

George Kesidis received his MS (in 1990) and PhD (in 1992) from UC Berkeley in EECS. Following eight years as a professor of ECE at the University of Waterloo, he has been a professor of CSE and EE at the Pennsylvania State University since 2000. His research interests include many aspects of networking and cyber security, more recently including issues of energy efficiency and network economics and neutrality. His work has been supported by over a dozen mostly collaborative NSF research grants and several Cisco Systems URP gifts. He has served as associate editor of Computer Networks Journal, ACM TOMACS, and IEEE COMST, and as TPC co-chair of INFOCOM 2007 and other networking and cyber security related conferences and workshops.

Sponsored by

University of Michigan, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science