GAME THEORETIC FLOW AND ROUTING CONTROL FOR COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
As the need to support high speed data exchange in modern communication networks grows rapidly, effective and fair sharing of the network resources becomes very important. Todays communication networks typically involve a large number of users that share the same network resources but may have different, and often competing, objectives. Advanced network protocols that are implemented to optimize the performance of such networks typically assume that the users are passive and are willing to accept compromising their own performance for the sake of optimizing the performance of the overall network. However, considering the trend towards more decentralization in the future, it is natural to assume that the users in a large network may take a more active approach and become more interested in optimizing their own individual performances without giving much consideration to the overall performance of the network. A similar situation occurs when the users are members of teams that are sharing the network resources. A user may find itself cooperating with other members of its team which itself is competing with the other teams in the network. Game theory appears to provide the necessary framework and mathematical tools for formulating and analyzing the strategic interactions among users, or teams of users, of such networks. In this thesis, we investigate networks in which users, or teams of users, either compete or cooperate for the same network resources. We considered two important network topologies and used many examples to illustrate the various solution concepts that we have investigated.. First we consider two-node
parallel link networks with non-cooperative users trying to optimally distribute their flows among the links. For these networks, we established a condition which guarantees the existence and uniqueness of a Nash equilibrium for the link flows. We derived an analytical expression for the Nash equilibrium and investigated its properties in terms of the network parameters and the users preferences. We showed that in a competitive environment users can achieve larger flow rates by properly emphasizing the corresponding term in their utility functions, but that this can only be done at the expense of an increase in the expected delay. Next, we considered a general network structure with multiple links, multiple nodes, and multiple competing users. We proved the existence of a unique Nash equilibrium. We also investigated many of its intuitive properties. We also extended the model to a network where multiple teams of users compete with each other while cooperating within the teams to optimize a team level performance. For this model, we studied the Noninferior Nash solution and compared its results with the standard Nash equilibrium solution.
Advisor:Ching-Chung Li; J. Robert Boston; Marwan A. Simaan; Luis F. Chaparro; Prashant Krishnamurthy
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/31/2007