Control of communication networks: welfare maximization and multipath transfers

Peter Key and Laurent Massoulié

Abstract

We discuss control strategies for communication networks such as the Internet.

We advocate the goal of welfare maximization as a paradigm for network resource

allocation. We explore the application of this paradigm to the case of parallel network

paths. We show that welfare maximization requires active balancing across

paths by data sources, and potentially requires implementation of novel transport

protocols. However, the only requirement from the underlying `network layer' is

to expose the marginal congestion cost of network paths to the `transport layer'.

We further illustrate the versatility of the corresponding layered architecture by

describing transport protocols with the following properties: they achieve welfare

maximization when each communication may use an arbitrary collection of paths,

available in an overlay, combined in series and parallel.We conclude by commenting

on incentives, pricing and open problems.

Details

Publication typeArticle
Published inPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A
URLhttp://journals.royalsociety.org/content/9uu812t28w420485/fulltext.pdf
Pages1955-1971
Volume366
Number1872
InstitutionRoyal Society
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