Incentivizing Stable Path Selection in Future Internet Architectures

by   Simon Scherrer, et al.

By delegating path control to end-hosts, future Internet architectures offer flexibility for path selection. However, there is a concern that the distributed routing decisions by end-hosts, in particular load-adaptive routing, can lead to oscillations if path selection is performed without coordination or accurate load information. Prior research has addressed this problem by devising path-selection policies that lead to stability. However, little is known about the viability of these policies in the Internet context, where selfish end-hosts can deviate from a prescribed policy if such a deviation is beneficial fromtheir individual perspective. In order to achieve network stability in future Internet architectures, it is essential that end-hosts have an incentive to adopt a stability-oriented path-selection policy. In this work, we perform the first incentive analysis of the stability-inducing path-selection policies proposed in the literature. Building on a game-theoretic model of end-host path selection, we show that these policies are in fact incompatible with the self-interest of end-hosts, as these strategies make it worthwhile to pursue an oscillatory path-selection strategy. Therefore, stability in networks with selfish end-hosts must be enforced by incentive-compatible mechanisms. We present two such mechanisms and formally prove their incentive compatibility.



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