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.

Negotiated contracts (6)

Contract negotiation for Internet access service allows users to specify their service expectation with the ISPs up front and be charged accordingly. Such pricing schemes include:
1) Reservation-based pricing. Users are characterized by their connection durations, budgets, and chosen classes of service (with a higher per-byte fee for a higher-priority service class). The network then decides to either accept or block the connection, depending on the sufficiency of the user’s budget and the availability of network resources.
2) Expected capacity pricing. Users enter into profile contracts for the expected capacity that they will receive from the service provider, allowing them to receive different shares of network resources at times of congestion.
3) Cumulus pricing. A service provider initially offers a flat-rate contract to the user for a specified period based on the user’s estimate of resource requirements. During this time, the provider monitors the user’s actual usage and offers periodic feedback to the user (by reporting on “cumulus points” accumulated from their usage) to indicate whether the user has exceeded the specified resource requirements. Once the cumulative score of a user exceeds a predefined threshold, the contract is renegotiated.

Choice-based Pricing for User-Provided Connectivity?

M. H. Afrasiabi and R. Guérin  ACM SIGMETRICS Performance Evaluation Review, 43(3): 63-66, 2015

User-provided connectivity (UPC) leverages the network connectivity of its users to build a service offering that goes beyond their individual connectivity option, i.e., allows them to roam. Because the service's overall value typically grows as a function of its coverage, it is important to devise pricing policies that make it attractive to all users, even those who derive little value from roaming. This paper builds on earlier work that explored the value of a UPC service, and proposes a new pricing policy, the Price choice policy, that seeks to realize an effective compromise between pricing complexity and the policy's ability to maximize system value and extract profit. The paper illustrates the benefits of the proposed policy by demonstrating why and how it outperforms several previously proposed policies.

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A framework for the study of pricing in integrated networks

C. Parris, S. Keshav and D. Ferrari  Tech. rep. TR-92-016. Tenet Group, ICSI, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 1992

Integrated networks of the near future are expected to provide a wide variety of services, which could consume widely differing amounts of resources. We present a framework for pricing services in integrated networks, and study the effect of pricing on user behavior and network performance. We first describe a network model that is simple, yet models details such as the wealth distribution in society, different classes of service, peak and off-peak traffic, elasticity of user’s demand, and call blocking due to budgetary constraints. We then perform experiments to study the effect of setup, per packet and peak load prices on the blocking probability of two classes of calls passing through a single node enforcing admission control. Some selected results are that a) increasing prices first increases the net revenue to a provider, then causes a decrease b) peak-load pricing spreads network utilization more evenly, raising revenue while simultaneously reducing call blocking probability. Finally, we introduce a novel metric for comparing pricing schemes, and prove that for the most part, a pricing scheme involving setup prices is better than a pricing scheme without such a component.

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A resource based pricing policy for real-time channels in a packet-switching network

C. Parris and D. Ferrari  Tech. rep. TR-92-018. Tenet Group, ICSI, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 1992

In the packet switching networks of the future the need for guaranteed performance on a wide variety of traffic characteristics will be of paramount importance. The generation of revenue, to recover costs and provide profit, and the multiple type of services offered will require that new pricing policies be implemented. This paper presents a resource based pricing policy for real-time channels ( ie., channels with guaranteed performance ) in a packet switching network. The policy is based on a set of specific criteria, and the charges for any channel are based on the resources reserved for use by the channel. This reservation charge is based on the type of service requested, the time of day during which the channel exists, and the lifetime of the channel. We argue that the traditional resources are not sufficient to determine a fair reservation charge for a channel offering guaranteed delay bounds, and we introduce the notion of a delay resource in our charging formula. The type of service requested is thus characterized by the amount of the bandwidth, buffer space, CPU, and delay resources reserved. The analysis of this pricing policy is reduced to the analysis of a single node of the network, assuming a homogeneous network. This single-node characteristic increases the scalability and flexibility of the policy. An example of an implementation of this policy is provided.

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Charging schemes for reservation-based networks

L. Delgrossi and D. Ferrari  Telecommunication Systems, 11(1): 127-137, 1999

The definition of an adequate charging scheme for reservation-based multi-service networks and internetworks is one of the key factors destined to influence the wide use and deployment of these networks in the next decades. This paper presents some of the authors' ideas on this subject and is intended to be a framework on which future works in this area can be based. It comprises an approach to the design of a charging scheme and a first proposal for a charging formula. The approach is based on the fundamental belief that, in the context of reservation-based networks, there should be a direct relationship between user fees and network resources utilisation. The scheme can be applied both to multi-service networks like ATM ones and to such internetworks as the Integrated Services Internet.

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A mathematical analysis of the cumulus pricing scheme

Y. Hayel and B. Tuffin  Computer Networks, 47(6): 907-921, 2005

One important task in current and future communication networks is to define a suitable pricing scheme. It is then preferable to formulate a mathematical model, so that parameters will be optimized and important properties such as fairness or truthful anticipated load revelation (or incentive compatibility) will be verified. In this paper we study a simple and promising scheme called the cumulus pricing scheme, which can address service differentiation and scalability among other issues. Based on a mathematical model, we determine values for optimizing the provider’s revenue, which happens under the constraint that each user has an incentive to reveal its anticipated load. This has led to a small variation of the initial model from the literature as in the modelling, cumulus points are translated into financial terms, and measurements induce a cost as well.

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Within the intense debate on Quality-of-Service (QoS) management in the future Internet, charging for QoS-enabled services has adopted a crucial place in research, since business relations are the driving force for commercial service offerings. Economic management principles are applied in a number of traditional markets, but only recently have gained increasing attention in the control of Internet services and traffic with respect to economic efficiency, user acceptability, and technical feasibility. The present paper addresses these three main areas of current research in a holistic approach. Based on a generic time-scale model for Internet tariffs and three well-defined axioms of feasible Internet charging, the Cumulus Pricing Scheme (CPS) serves as a framework for pricing Internet services. CPS allows a well-balanced compromise of economic viability and technical feasibility, while relying on crucial user and provider points of view on acceptability and transparency of the pricing scheme. This dilemma is investigated with respect to a set of detailed aspects and their interdependencies, which are measured, simulated, and evaluated in a quantifiable manner. Service level specifications are investigated, while results obtained show that CPS achieves the central role of an economic and scalable management tool for Internet traffic.

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