Ecole d'ingénieur et centre de recherche en Sciences du numérique

Incentive mechanisms for internet congestion management: Fixed-budget rebate versus time-of-day pricing

Loiseau, Patrick; Schwartz, Galina; Musacchio, John; Amin, Saurabh; Sastry, Shankar S

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking (TON), April 2014, Vol. 22, N°2, ISSN: 1063-6692

Mobile data traffic has been steadily rising in the past years. This has generated a significant interest in the deployment of incentive mechanisms to reduce peak-time congestion. Typically, the design of these mechanisms requires information about user demand and sensitivity to prices. Such information is naturally imperfect. In this paper, we propose a fixed-budget rebate mechanism that gives each user a reward proportional to his percentage contribution to the aggregate reduction in peak-time demand. For comparison, we also study a time-of-day pricing mechanism that gives each user a fixed reward per unit reduction of his peak-time demand. To evaluate the two mechanisms, we introduce a game-theoretic model that captures the public good nature of decongestion. For each mechanism, we demonstrate that the socially optimal level of decongestion is achievable for a specific choice of the mechanism's parameter. We then investigate how imperfect information about user demand affects the mechanisms' effectiveness. From our results, the fixed-budget rebate pricing is more robust when the users' sensitivity to congestion is "sufficiently" convex. This feature of the fixed-budget rebate mechanism is attractive for many situations of interest and is driven by its closed-loop property, i.e., the unit reward decreases as the peak-time demand decreases.

Document Doi Bibtex

Titre:Incentive mechanisms for internet congestion management: Fixed-budget rebate versus time-of-day pricing
Mots Clés:congestion pricing; lottery-based incentive mechanisms; public good provisioning; probabilistic pricing
Département:Data Science
Eurecom ref:4026
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Bibtex: @article{EURECOM+4026, doi = {}, year = {2014}, month = {04}, title = {{I}ncentive mechanisms for internet congestion management: {F}ixed-budget rebate versus time-of-day pricing}, author = {{L}oiseau, {P}atrick and {S}chwartz, {G}alina and {M}usacchio, {J}ohn and {A}min, {S}aurabh and {S}astry, {S}hankar {S}}, journal = {{IEEE}/{ACM} {T}ransactions on {N}etworking ({TON}), {A}pril 2014, {V}ol. 22, {N}°2, {ISSN}: 1063-6692}, url = {} }
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