[78all] Technical Plenary on The Economic Perspectives on Congestion Exposure in Networks.

IAB Chair <iab-chair@iab.org> Sun, 25 July 2010 17:06 UTC

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Subject: [78all] Technical Plenary on The Economic Perspectives on Congestion Exposure in Networks.
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Dear colleagues,

The IETF 78 technical plenary is planned for Thursday and we hope to
welcome you between 1630-1930 in Auditorium 1.  In addition to the IAB
and IRTF chair reports we will host a technical session titled "The
Economic Perspectives on Congestion Exposure in Networks". Our aim is
to present the relevant works with a focus on implications for
protocol design and IETF-related work areas, but also to generally
inform the community on some measured and observable trends. More
information below.

After the Q&A on the technical keynote (moderated by Marcelo Bagnulo
Braun) we will open up the microphone for the general technical open
microphone session.  To make this session slightly more efficient we
would appreciate if you would compose a mail with the topic you want
to bring up during the session and send that to the IAB. This allows
the IAB to think a few minutes about a comprehensive answer but also
may help the person asking the question to ask a succinct question.
Obviously, the above is not obligatory but is considered a service to
those participating in the session.


The Economic Perspectives on Congestion Exposure in Networks.

Presentations and panel discussion by:
Bob Briscoe, Ramesh Johari, Frank Kelly, and Hal Varian
The speakers and abstracts are below.

Hal Varian
If demand exceeds supply for a resource with finite capacity, there
must be some way to ration demand.  One natural choice is to use
congestion pricing, which sets prices that depend on the magnitude of
congestion.   This talk will review some of the simple economics of
congestion pricing at a general level, and provide answers to some of
the FAQ on this topic.

Frank Kelly
Infrastructure networks with hard capacity constraints require demand
to adapt to capacity, either by time-shifting, route-shifting or
moderating the volume of demand. In airline networks we are used to
price giving the signal to adapt; in the Internet the signal is more
often given by damage of some form, such as packet delay or packet
drop. But it is possible to expose congestion without damage, and the
main issue then becomes how to incentivize adaptation.

Bob Briscoe
When a properly functioning end-system transport protocol needs to
transfer some data, it can fill whatever capacity is provided. But
what share should each transport get when there are multiple demands
for the same capacity? Economics shows that end-users would determine
the best answer themselves if they were charged for their contribution
to congestion. Studies also show people like predictable pricing. So
no mass market ISP is going to offer a congestion tariff. Somehow we
want applications to behave/as if/ their users are being charged for
congestion, but without congestion charging. By understanding the
underlying drivers, we can provide a simple coherent architecture in
which needs from security and from economics can all be satisfied

Ramesh Johari
The Information Content of Congestion Prices "Congestion pricing"
refers, broadly, to the principle that price feedback can help manage
congestion of resources in a network. However, congestion prices
provide many levels of information that can be useful to managing a
network. In this talk, we will discuss the information content of
congestion prices, and in particular the feedback they provide to
network users and operators on multiple timescales -- from
milliseconds to years.

The Internet Architecture Board