SDP research papers can be roughly categorized by the different types of pricing that they investigate. We consider 15 such topics here. If you know of a paper we missed, let us know.

QoS-aware pricing (14)

QoS (Quality of Service) aware pricing divides traffic into different classes, each with a different quality of service, e.g., guaranteed bandwidth rates or scheduling prioritization. Users pay different prices depending on their chosen traffic class. A more recent variation involves pricing for quality of experience, or users’ perception of service quality, rather than QoS defined in terms of network policies.

Impatience in Mobile Networks and Its Application to Data Pricing

Fabrice Guillemin, Salah Eddine Elayoubi, Philippe Robert, Christine Fricker, and Bruno Sericola  Proceedings of IEEE ICC 2015

We consider in this paper an important Quality of Experience (QoE) indicator in mobile networks that is reneging of users due to impatience. We specifically consider a cell under heavy load conditions and compute the reneging probability by using a fluid limit analysis. By solving the fixed point equation, we obtain a new QoE perturbation metric quantifying the impact of reneging on the performance of the system. This metric is then used to devise a new pricing scheme accounting of reneging. We specifically propose several flavors of this pricing around the idea of having a flat rate for accessing the network and an elastic price related to the level of QoE perturbation induced by communications.

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Charging for quality-of-experience - a new paradigm for pricing IP-based services

P. Reichl and F. Hammer  Proceedings of the 2nd ISCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Perceptual Quality of Systems, 2006

Over the last couple of years, the interdisciplinary research area of “Internet Economics” has received rapidly increasing attention, especially regarding various proposals for Qualityof- Service (QoS) aware charging of IP services. However, the continuously strong trend towards flat-rate pricing in today’s fixed and mobile networks indicates that QoS differentiation does not provide a suitable economic framework for the tradeoff between quality delivered by the provider and willingnessto- pay from the customer’s side. Therefore, in this paper we argue for a paradigm shift towards Quality-of-Experience (QoE) as an alternative framework for pricing service quality according to the user perception. To this end, we provide a comprehensive survey about various charging schemes for Internet services, discuss the evolution from QoS to QoE and finally describe in detail two different proposals for QoEaware Internet charging, i.e. (1) an instrumental approach complementing standard charging architectures with an additional module for translating network QoS into perceptual QoS, and (2) a novel mechanism called “Reactive Charging” which is based on direct user feedback for both perceived quality and willingness-to-pay.

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A token pricing scheme for Internet services

D. Lee, J. Mo, J. Walrand and J. Park  Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Internet Charging and QoS Technologies: Economics of the Converged, Internet-Based Networks, 2011

Flat-rate pricing has been the dominant scheme for tariffing Internet services due to its popularity and simplicity. However, this scheme does not provide incentives for users to use network resources efficiently. As the demand for wireless video and other resource-intensive services grows faster than the providers’ ability to expand the network capacity, this inefficiency becomes critical. This situation has led numerous researchers and practitioners to explore new pricing schemes. In this spirit, we introduce a pricing scheme called Token Pricing that is both practical and efficient. As in flat-rate pricing, the users face a fixed price. However, users consume tokens when they want a higher quality of service while the network is congested. This mechanism encourages users to congest the network only when they have a high utility for the service. As a result, users make a better use of the resources and the social welfare increases.

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A study of priority pricing in multiple service class networks

R. Cocchi, D. Estrin, S. Shenker and L. Zhang  Proceedings of ACM SIGCOMM, 1991

An abstract is not available.

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Pricing in computer networks: Motivation, formulation, and example

R. Cocchi, S. Shenker, D. Estrin and L. Zhang  IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, 1(6): 614-627, 1993

An abstract is not available.

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Analysis of a static pricing scheme for priority services

P. Marbach  IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, 12(2):312-325, 2004

We analyze a static pricing scheme for priority services. Users are free to choose the priority of their traffic but are charged accordingly. Using a game theoretic framework, we study the case where users choose priorities to maximize their net benefit. For the single link case, we show that there always exists an equilibrium for the corresponding game; however, the equilibrium is not necessarily unique. Furthermore, we show that packet loss in equilibrium can be expressed as a function of the prices associated with the different priority classes. We provide a numerical case study to illustrate our results.

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Pricing strategies under heterogeneous service requirements

M. Mandjes  Computer Networks, 42(2): 213—249, 2003

This paper analyzes a communication network, used by customers with heterogeneous service requirements. We investigate priority queueing as a way to establish service differentiation. It is assumed that there is an infinite population of customers, who join the network as long as their utility (which is a function of the queueing delay) is larger than the price of the service. We focus on the specific situation with two types of users: one type is delay-sensitive (‘voice’), whereas the other is delay-tolerant (‘data’); these preferences are reflected in their utility curves. Two models are considered: in the first the network determines the priority class of the users, whereas the second model leaves this choice to the users. For both models we determine the prices that maximize the provider’s profit. Importantly, these situations do not coincide. Our analysis uses elements from queueing theory, but also from microeconomics and game theory (e.g., the concept of a Nash equilibrium). We conclude the paper by considering a model in which throughput (rather than delay) is the main performance measure. Again the pricing strategy exploits the heterogeneity in service requirements and willingness-to-pay.

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Internet QoS and regulations

N. Shetty, G. Schwartz and J. Walrand,   IEEE/ACM Transactiosn on Networking, 18(6): 1725—1737, 2010

This paper investigates Internet service provider (ISP) incentives with a single-service class and with two-service classes in the Internet. We consider multiple competing ISPs who offer network access to a fixed user base, consisting of end-users who differ in their quality requirements and willingness to pay for the access. We model user-ISP interactions as a game in which each ISP makes capacity and pricing decisions to maximize its profits and the end-users only decide which service to buy (if any) and from which ISP. Our model provides pricing for networks with single- and two-service classes for any number of competing ISPs. Our results indicate that multiple service classes are socially desirable, but could be blocked due to the unfavorable distributional consequences that it inflicts on the existing Internet users. We propose a simple regulatory tool to alleviate the political economic constraints and thus make multiple service classes in the Internet feasible.

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Pricing and admission control for QoS-enabled Internet

T. Li, Y. Iraqi and R. Boutaba  Computer Networks, 46(1): 87—110, 2004

Over the past ten years, many pricing schemes have been proposed for a QoS-enabled network. Most of the proposed QoS-pricing schemes focus on congestion-sensitive pricing and optimal pricing solutions. Integrating pricing and admission control has not been studied in details. In this paper, we pay more attention to the interrelation between pricing and admission control in QoS-enabled networks and propose a tariff-based architecture framework that flexibly integrates pricing and admission control for multi-domain DiffServ networks. We study the pricing and user behaviors in detail and design a market-regulated pricing and admission control scheme in our framework. We model the system as a market so that the price of a service class reflects the resource availability inside the network and is regulated by the market itself. We also evaluate our pricing strategy and admission control scheme through simulations.

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Pricing, provisioning and peering: Dynamic markets for differentiated Internet services and implications for network interconnections

N. Semret, R. R.-F. Liao, A. T. Campbell and A. Lazar  IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, 18(12): 2499-2513, 2000

This paper presents a decentralized auction-based approach to pricing of edge-allocated bandwidth in a differentiated services Internet. The players in our network economy model are one raw-capacity seller per network, one broker per service per network, and users, to play the roles of whole-sellers, retailers, and end-buyers, respectively, in a two-tier wholeseller/retailer market, which is best interpreted as a "sender-pay" model. With the progressive second price auction mechanism as the basic building block, we conduct a game theoretic analysis, deriving optimal strategies for buyers and brokers, and show the existence of networkwide market equilibria. In addition to pricing, another key consideration in building differentiated network services is the feasibility of maintaining stable and consistent service level agreements across multiple networks where demand-driven dynamic allocations are made only at the edges. Based on the proposed game-theoretic model, we are able to construct an explicit necessary and sufficient condition for the stability of the game, which determines the sustainability of any set of service level agreement configurations between Internet service providers. These analytical results are validated with simulations of user and broker dynamics, using the distributed progressive second price auction as the spot market mechanism in a scenario with three interconnected networks, and two services based on the proposed standard expedited forwarding and assured forwarding per-hop behavior.

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Less-than-best-effort services: Pricing and scheduling

Y. Hayel, D. Ros and B. Tuffin  Proceedings of IEEE INFOCOM, 2004

In recent years, the notion of a service offering a degraded performance with respect to the best-effort service traditionally found in IP networks has gained acceptance among network researchers. Such a less-than-best-effort (LBE) service may he considered as another way of providing a differentiated quality of service, following A. Odlyzko's "damaged goods for the Internet" approach. In this paper we are interested in evaluating, from a pricing perspective, the implications of the two scheduling models commonly proposed for building a LBE service-namely, priority queueing and generalized processor sharing (GPS). In particular, we focus on the network operator's issue of maximizing her revenue. We wish to study, for each scheduler, how to set prices and, especially, the impact that a given queueing model may have on revenues when users are mostly sensitive to delay. Drawing on previous work by Mandjes (2003), we present analytical expressions of the revenue earned by the network operator, when a GPS scheduler is used. A comparison of optimal revenues shows that: (a) Priority Queueing is more efficient, in economic terms, than both a GPS scheduler and a simple FIFO queue, that is, a network with no service differentiation; (b) revenues are lower with a GPS scheduler than with a FIFO queue. These results may have implications both on the practical implementation of LBE services and on the Paris Metro Pricing proposal by Odlyzko (1999).

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How to market-manage a QoS network

J. Altmann, H. Daanen, H. Oliver and A. S.-B. Suarez  Proceedings of IEEE INFOCOM, 2002

This paper describes a control mechanism for a future Internet. It is an economic mechanism that enables users to choose different pairs of price/QoS priority levels for network services at the user time scale. The user time scale means that prices vary at a rate suitable for human beings to respond to those price changes. The changes might happen on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis. We believe that such an economic control mechanism at a medium time scale, which is coupled with a technical rate control mechanism at a short time scale, is a simple and cost-reducing system that can provide quality of service to end-users. We show that the approach proposed enables network service providers to react to network congestion appropriately and provide end-users with high flexibility in service selection. After discussing different Internet pricing principles, we describe the market-managed test network, the QoS pricing and charging software for network services, and the experiments run on a DiffServ network. We present a theoretical model based on Markov chains that can represent the proposed market-managed network. Finally, we present results from the analysis of the theoretical model as well as measurement results from the DiffServ network. We show that the behavior of such a system depends on the user's net benefit, the prices for the network services, as well as on the heterogeneity of the user pool.

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Pricing differentiated Internet services

L. He and J. Walrand  Proceedings of IEEE INFOCOM, 2005

One of the critical challenges facing the networking industry today is to increase the profitability of Internet services. One well-known method in economics for increasing the revenues of a service is to segment its market through differentiation. However, special characteristics of Internet services, such as congestion externality, may complicate the design and provisioning of such offerings. In this paper, we study how a provider should price its services differentially based on their characteristics. By using a game-theoretic approach, we show that even with a simple two-class differentiated service model, if prices are not properly matched with service qualities, then the system may settle into an undesirable equilibrium similar to that in the classical "prisoner's dilemma" game. In addition, there may not even be a stable equilibrium under certain conditions. We then show that dynamic pricing approaches, in which prices are chosen according to users' relative preferences over different service classes, may be used to avoid such types of problems.

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Internet pricing with a game theoretical approach: Concepts and examples

X.-R. Cao, H.-X. Shen, R. Milito and P. Wirth  IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, 10(2): 208—216, 2002

The basic concepts of three branches of game theory, leader-follower, cooperative, and two-person nonzero sum games, are reviewed and applied to the study of the Internet pricing issue. In particular, we emphasize that the cooperative game (also called the bargaining problem) provides an overall picture for the issue. With a simple model for Internet quality of service (QoS), we demonstrate that the leader-follower game may lead to a solution that is not Pareto optimal and in some cases may be "unfair," and that the cooperative game may provide a better solution for both the Internet service provider (ISP) and the user. The practical implication of the results is that government regulation or arbitration may be helpful. The QoS model is also applied to study the competition between two ISPs, and we find a Nash equilibrium point from which the two ISPs would not move out without cooperation. The proposed approaches can be applied to other Internet pricing problems such as the Paris Metro pricing scheme

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