Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Interdomain routing and games

Levin, Hagay and Schapira, Michael and Zohar, Aviv (2008): Interdomain routing and games.

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We present a game-theoretic model that captures many of the intricacies of \emph{interdomain routing} in today's Internet. In this model, the strategic agents are source nodes located on a network, who aim to send traffic to a unique destination node. The interaction between the agents is dynamic and complex -- asynchronous, sequential, and based on partial information. Best-reply dynamics in this model capture crucial aspects of the only interdomain routing protocol de facto, namely the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP).

We study complexity and incentive-related issues in this model. Our main results are showing that in realistic and well-studied settings, BGP is incentive-compatible. I.e., not only does myopic behaviour of all players \emph{converge} to a ``stable'' routing outcome, but no player has motivation to unilaterally deviate from the protocol. Moreover, we show that even \emph{coalitions} of players of \emph{any} size cannot improve their routing outcomes by collaborating. Unlike the vast majority of works in mechanism design, our results do not require any monetary transfers (to or by the agents).

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