UC Santa Cruz

Jack Baskin School of Engineering

John Musacchio

Research: Market Enabling Network Architecture Project


The Market Enabling Network Architecture project is funded by the
NSF Future Internet Design (FIND) program. The project is collaborative between UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley. Our objective is to study how the future Internet can be designed to enable markets for service quality and security.  

Principal Investigators:

John Musacchio (UCSC)

Jean Walrand (UCB)

Venkat Ananthram (UCB)  

UC Berkeley Market Enabling Network Architecture Home Page

Project Summary Document (1 page pdf)

Project Description Document (15 page pdf)  

What follows is a survey of some of the research questions we are studying.

Service Choice:

Today, service quality is often not dependable enough for critical real time applications. Even if one is willing to pay more for better service, today’s network makes it difficult or impossible to do.

Idea: Users offered real-time choice: “red” and “blue” · “red” and “blue” not specified to users in detail;
  • “red” and “blue” not specified to users in detail;
  • Users decide based on which they think gives better performance.
  •  Market will push providers to make improvements, and offer services more suitable for intensive real-time applications.
  • No need to dictate QoS parameters a “standard.” Let the market decide!
For more discussion see:  

 J. Musacchio, J. Walrand, S. Wu, "A Game Theoretic Model for Network Upgrade Decisions," 44th Annual Allerton Conference on Communication and Control, Monticello, IL, September 2006, pp 191- 200. [Talk]

Network Neutrality:

One key question of the network neutrality debate is whether ISPs should be allowed to charge content providers that are not directly connected to them. Issues and questions that arise include:
  • Would allowing ISP 2 to charge Content Provider A encourage 2 to invest more? Would it discourage content providers investment?
  • Which regime is better for users?
  • What features (if any) should new Internet have to enable revenue sharing between content and transit providers?
For more discussion see:  

J. Musacchio, G. Schwartz, and J. Walrand, "A Two-sided Market Analysis of Provider Investment Incentives with an Application to the Net-Neutrality Issue," Review of Network Economics, vol. 8, no. 1, March 2009, pp. 22-39.

A working paper version with detailed proofs of theorems is available here:

J. Musacchio, G. Schwartz, and J. Walrand, "A Two-Sided Market Analysis of Provider Investment Incentives with an Application to the Net Neutrality Issue," UCSC School of Engineering Tech Report, UCSC-SOE-09-08, 2009.

An earlier conference paper verision appeared as:

J. Musacchio, G. Schwartz, and J. Walrand, "Network Neutrality and Provider Investment Incentives," Asilomar Conference, November 2007.

Network Competition:

Pricing Figure
The Internet is composed of many network providers, each of which is trying to selfishly maximize their profit. Furthermore, users are also making usage decisions and choosing their ISP based on what maximizes their net payoff -- the utility they derive from the network minus what they have to pay to the network provider. The interactions between network providers and users can be thought of as a game, and using this framework we can investigate how efficient the likely outcomes of this game are. Such an understanding is vital to developing new network architectures that may change the structure of the interaction between the players of the game, and therefore the efficiency of the likely outcome(s) of the game. The following works investigate various aspects of these issues.

J. Musacchio, "The Price of Anarchy in Parallel - Serial Competition with Elastic Demand,'' UCSC SOE Tech Report UCSC-SOE-09-20. (2009)

J. Musacchio,  G. Schwartz, and J. Walrand, ``Network Economics: Neutrality, Competition, and Service Differentiation,'' book chapter, to appear in Next-Generation Internet Architectures and Protocols, edited by B. Ramamurthy, G. Rouskas, and K.  Sivalingam, Cambridge University Press. (2009)

S. Wu and J. Musacchio, "N-Player Cournot and Price-Quantity Function Mixed Competition," GameNets Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, May 2009.

J. Musacchio, S. Wu, "The Price of Anarchy in Differentiated Services Networks," 46th Annual Allerton Conference on Communication and Control, Monticello, IL, Sept. 2008.

J. Musacchio and S. Wu, " The Price of Anarchy in a Network Pricing Game," (corrected), 45th Annual Allerton Conference on Communication and Control, Monticello, IL, September 2007.

Earlier related work on markets for Wi-Fi access:  

J. Musacchio, J. Walrand, “WiFi Access Point Pricing as a Dynamic Game,” IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, vol.14, no.2, April 2006, pp. 289-301.

Earlier versions of this work appeared as:  

John Musacchio
Technology and Information Management
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street, SOE 3
Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1077

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