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Self-Interested Routing In Online Environment


A recent trend in routing research is to avoid inefficiencies in network-level routing by allowing hosts to either choose routes themselves (e.g., source routing) or use overlay routing networks (e.g., Detour or RON). Such approaches result in selfish routing, because routing decisions are no longer based on system-wide criteria but are instead designed to optimize host-based or overlay-based metrics. A series of theoretical results showing that selfish routing can result in suboptimal system behavior have cast doubts on this approach. In this paper, we use a game-theoretic approach to investigate the performance of selfish routing in Internet-like environments based on realistic topologies and traffic demands in our simulations. We show that in contrast to theoretical worst cases, selfish routing achieves close to optimal average latency in such environments. However, such performance benefits come at the expense of significantly increased congestion on certain links. Moreover, the adaptive nature of selfish overlays can significantly reduce the effectiveness of traffic engineering by making network traffic less predictable.

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