ABR pricing experiments in a real network

C. Courcoubetis, F.P. Kelly, V.A. Siris, G.D. Stamoulis, R. Weber. In Proceedings of International Conference on Telecommunications (ICT'97), Melbourne, Australia, April 1997.

The success of the Available Bit Rate (ABR) service will depend not only on pure technological issues, but also on whether its pricing structure provides the right incentives for users to efficiently use network resources, thus minimizing the negative effects of congestion. We describe a testbed for experimenting with various pricing schemes. The testbed attempts to be as realistic as possible, and allows real end-users to visually experience the effects of pricing and network congestion. Currently one of Internet's most intense problems, and it is attributed to its ineffective pricing structure (cf. [2]), namely at rate pricing where prices depend solely on the link rate of the access pipe from the customer to the Internet service provider. Such a scheme offers no incentives for users to send traffic at a rate less than the rate of their access pipe. Considering aggregate user benefit, welfare economics suggests pricing schemes.

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