Charging and rate control for elastic traffic

F. P. Kelly (Statistical Laboratory, University of Cambridge)

European Transactions on Telecommunications, volume 8 (1997) pages 33-37.
A (corrected) version is available as postscript or pdf (the corrected version includes a revised Section 4, co-authored with Ramesh Johari).


This paper addresses the issues of charging, rate control and routing for a communication network carrying elastic traffic, such as an ATM network offering an available bit rate service. A model is described from which max--min fairness of rates emerges as a limiting special case; more generally, the charges users are prepared to pay influence their allocated rates. In the preferred version of the model, a user chooses the charge per unit time that the user will pay; thereafter the user's rate is determined by the network according to a proportional fairness criterion applied to the rate per unit charge. A system optimum is achieved when users' choices of charges and the network's choice of allocated rates are in equilibrium.

For more recent work see Efficiency Loss in a Network Resource Allocation Game and Efficiency of Scalar-Parameterized Mechanisms by Ramesh Johari and John Tsitsiklis; VCG-Kelly Mechanisms for Allocation of Divisible Goods: Adapting VCG Mechanisms to One-Dimensional Signals by Sichao Yang and Bruce Hajek; and Stochastic Network Utility Maximization by Yung Yi and Mung Chiang.
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