Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Strategic Justification for BGP

Levin, Hagay and Schapira, Michael and Zohar, Aviv (2006): The Strategic Justification for BGP.


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The Internet consists of many administrative domains, or \emph{Autonomous Systems} (ASes), each owned by an economic entity (Microsoft, AT\&T, The Hebrew University, etc.). The task of ensuring interconnectivity between ASes, known as \emph{interdomain routing}, is currently handled by the \emph{Border Gateway Protocol} (BGP).

ASes are self-interested and might be willing to manipulate BGP for their benefit. In this paper we present the strategic justification for using BGP for interdomain routing in today's Internet: We show that, in the realistic Gao-Rexford setting, BGP is immune to almost all forms of rational manipulation by ASes, and can easily be made immune to all such manipulations. The Gao-Rexford setting is said to accurately depict the current commercial relations between ASes in the Internet. Formally, we prove that a slight modification of BGP is incentive-compatible in \emph{ex-post Nash equilibrium}. Moreover, we show that, if a certain reasonable condition holds, then this slightly modified BGP is also \emph{collusion-proof} in ex-post Nash -- i.e., immune to rational manipulations even by \emph{coalitions} of \emph{any} size.

Unlike previous works on achieving incentive-compatibility in interdomain routing, our results \emph{do not require any monetary transfer between ASes} (as is the case in practice). We also strengthen the Gao-Rexford constraints by proving that one of the three constraints can actually be enforced by the rationality of ASes if the two other constraints hold.

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