Economic Mechanisms for Efficient Network Resource Allocation

Speaker: Dr. Rahul Jain, IBM

Many systems are characterized by complex (and often strategic) interactions between subsystems. Such systems occur in communication networks, power networks, wireless and sensor networks, etc. The strategic interactions, between such subsystems often involve economic issues. This necessitates market-based algorithms for distributed control and optimization. Many network problems share such issues: efficient network resource exchange between service providers, revenue-sharing games between service-providers and content-providers, power-control games in wireless networks, etc.
We will begin with a broad overview of work in the last few years on network pricing and games. We will then consider a design problem: how to design economics-informed systems that align incentives of different agents/subsystems for optimal network operation. We will specifically see a market design for efficient network resource exchange between Internet service-providers and carriers. The designed market system is robust to strategic manipulation by the players, i.e., it has zero price of anarchy in the full information case (all Nash equilibria are efficient), and asymptotically zero price of anarchy in the incomplete information case (asymptotic Bayesian Incentive compatibility).
Moreover, human-subject economic experiments suggest good performance in real situations as well.


Rahul Jain is currently at the IBM T J Watson Research Center, Hawthorne, NY. He received his B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1997, MS in ECE from Rice University in 1999, MA in Statistics in 2002 and PhD in EECS in December 2004 both from the University of California, Berkeley. His interests lie in game theory, optimization, and stochastic control with applications to network economics and intelligent systems.

Presented On: Feb 16th, 2007
Video: QuickTime streaming video