6th International Workshop on Internet Charging and QoS Technologies (ICQT'09)

In the following you can find information about the workshop ICQT 2009 and also information about the keynote speaker. For ICQT 2009 Jim Roberts from France Telekom will hold the keynote.

Keynote: Jim Roberts

Jim Roberts
Friday, 15 May, 9:15 - 10:00
QoS is still an issue, congestion pricing is not the solution

A network clearly needs to be designed to meet user performance requirements for a wide variety of applications. In a commercial setting, return on investment must be covered by the price users pay for the services provided by the network. It matters whether the investment is just in an amount of commodity infrastructure or also in complex value-added services justifying a higher profit margin. QoS is often seen as the basis for such added value. We discuss the issue of RoI and consider the complementary role of pricing as a QoS mechanism.

Unfortunately, none of the QoS models proposed for standardization over the past decades has provided a satisfactory solution. On one hand, it proves practically impossible to perform resource allocation so that a given flow, characterized by a traffic "profile", encounters precise performance criteria. On the other hand, it is rather easy to ensure excellent quality for all simply by providing capacity that is somewhat greater than expected demand. It is hardly possible to realize finely modulated quality levels since performance deteriorates rapidly and unacceptably as demand exceeds capacity. We explore the scope for service differentiation based on our understanding of the stochastic nature of network traffic and discuss the limits on possible QoS control.

Overprovisioning is not a satisfactory solution for operators under the present business model where pricing is largely independent of traffic volume. Growth in demand due to the popularity of applications like file sharing and video streaming requires added investment in infrastructure but brings negligible return. Operators are therefore seeking to introduce a new network model giving priority to managed services whose usage is subject to a particular pricing scheme. We consider the viability of this two-tier service model and its acceptability in the light of the on-going debate on network neutrality.

QoS control would be considerably simpler if users were made to pay in relation to the amount of congestion they cause. This is the principle of congestion pricing and a number of possible schemes have been proposed for the Internet. Despite arguments for microeconomic optimality, these schemes seem completely unworkable if only for their obvious lack of charging transparency. A recent proposal to preserve flat rate charging for end users and to apply a form of "congestion policing" instead of congestion pricing does not appear to be a satisfactory alternative. We explain why we believe pricing should be reserved for its primary function of RoI.

Following the above discussion we conclude by proposing the outline of an alternative approach to QoS control. The essential mechanisms are network imposed fair sharing, load shedding as necessary to avoid overload, user controlled sharing of last mile resources and simple usage-based charging. We present feasibility arguments and highlight areas needing further research.

About the speaker:
Jim Roberts has a BSc in mathematics from the University of Surrey, UK and a PhD from the University of Paris. He has been with the France Telecom research labs since 1978 where he has performed research on the performance evaluation and design of traffic controls for multiservice networks including ISDN, ATM and the Internet. He was chairman of three successive European COST projects on the performance of multiservice networks, this activity culminating in the publication of the book "Broadband Network Teletraffic" (Springer 1996). He has published extensively in journals and conferences gaining a best paper award at Infocom 1999. He has been a member of several journal editorial boards, including Computer Networks, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking and IEEE JSAC, and many conference programme committees in the networking field, including Infocom and SIGCOMM. He was TPC co-chair for Infocom 2003. His current research is focused on the definition and evaluation of traffic control and transport mechanisms for a future Internet, notably in the European project 4WARD.

Technical Programme

09:00-09:15 - Welcome and Introduction

09:15-10:00 - Session 1: Keynote Talk (see above)

10:00-10:30 - Coffee Break

10:30-12:00 - Session 2: Competition Models

  • Optimization of Transmission Power in Competitive Wireless Networks PDF
    Patrick Maillé, Bruno Tuffin
  • On Competition for Market Share in a Dynamic ISP Market with Customer Loyalty: A Game-Theoretic Analysis PDF
    László Gyarmati, Tuan Trinh Anh
  • A Pricing model for a Mobile Network Operator sharing limited resource with a Mobile Virtual Network Operator PDF
    Hélène Le Cadre, Bruno Tuffin, Mustapha Bouhtou

12:00-13:30 - Lunch Break

13:30-15:00 - Session 3: Pricing Mechanisms

  • Design and Evaluation of a Combinatorial Double Auction for Resource Allocations in Grids PDF
    Li Li, Yuanan Liu, David Hausheer, Burkhard Stiller
  • A User-Influenced Pricing Mechanism for Internet Access PDF
    Gergely Biczok, Tuan Trinh Anh
  • Price Setting in Two-sided Markets for Internet Connectivity PDF
    Thorsten Hau, Walter Brenner

15:00-15:30 - Coffee Break

15:30-17:00 - Session 4: Economics of Interdomain Traffic

  • Online Charging for IMS-based Inter-Domain Composite Services PDF
    Minh Le, Frens jan Rumph, George Huitema, Bert-Jan van Beijnum, Bart Nieuwenhuis
  • A New Bilateral Arrangement between Interconnected Providers PDF
    Ruzana Davoyan, Jörn Altmann, Wolfgang Effelsberg
  • Improvement of BitTorrent Performance and Inter-Domain Traffic by Insertion of ISP-owned Peers PDF
    Ioanna Papafili, Sergios Soursos, George Stamoulis

17:00-17:15 - Wrap-up and Conclusions