A Value-based Framework for Internet Peering Agreements

Fri, 07/23/2010 - 21:55 by Pierre François


Peering policies used by Internet Service providers (ISPs) are extremely complex, stipulating various rules and conditions for peering with other networks. Peering strategy is often considered a “black art”, rather than science, and the outcome of a peering negotiation can depend on factors that are neither technical nor economic. Consequently, ISPs do not have a clear idea of which networks they should peer with, and the price they should demand/offer to make the peering link feasible and stable. In this paper, we cast the black art of peering into a deterministic framework based on the “value” of a peering link. We first study a solution where a centralized oracle has perfect knowledge of the value of the peering link for each network, and prove that this solution is optimal and stable. We next show that in the case of perfect knowledge, the optimal solution can be implemented individually by the peering networks. We then consider the case where networks cannot perfectly estimate the value of the peering link, and investigate the effects of such uncertain estimation. We also propose practical mechanisms by which a network can estimate the value of a peering link. Finally, we examine how the value-based peering framework can affect the global Internet in terms of the density of peering links, the nature of end-to-end paths, and the profitability of various network types.

Amogh Dhamdhere, Constantine Dovrolis and Pierre Francois
Proceedings of ITC-22, Amsterdam, Netherlands, September 2010. To Appear.
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