March 28 – 31 , 2006, Dagstuhl Seminar 06132

Internet Economics


Martin Karsten (University of Waterloo, CA)
Lee McKnight (Syracuse University, US)
Peter Reichl (FTW Forschungszentrum Telekommunikation Wien GmbH, AT)
Burkhard Stiller (Universität Zürich, CH)

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Driven by a strong commercialization of the Internet as a networking technology and as a business-enabling platform the use of this network has changed dramatically in the last 5-8 years. The immense range of applications and services, the complex set of management tasks for network operations and business control, and an increase in customer and provider demands has opened up the necessity of combining well-known network principles with economic basics. However, these combinations are still in a quite unbalanced state, as it is unclear how the many roles found in distributed systems providing services in a coordinated manner – considered as a must – do behave in a competitive market. Technical functions as well as economic means considered as a whole only will enable a world-wide, interoperable network with those incentives given for providers and customers to participate, offer, and utilize the information network of the near future.

The economic part of this situation is guided by business policy management, the economics of Internet services and applications in a mobile and fixed environment, multi-provider schemes, regulation aspects of countries and continents, cost modeling tasks, and charging as well as pricing support for services and content. The technological and networking basis for such schemes to be offered in an operational manner, covering inter-disciplinary feedback and control, finds its foundation in a policy-based management of Service Level Agreements (SLA) and Quality-of-Service (QoS), monitoring and measurement schemes for high-performance multi-provider networks, security mechanisms, and explicit peer-to-peer as well as grid computing support.

Both areas outlined above need to focused onto a common target, which will be achievable due to joint discussions and identification of common solution proposals, investigations of their feasibility, and a consolidation of technical and economic mechanisms to enable a fast, guaranteed, and efficient provisioning of differentiated services in multi-provider Internet.

This seminar did proceed with 11 presentations and subsequent discussions, which addressed the following areas:

  • Individual Tariffs for Mobile Commerce Services – A Computational Model
  • A Decentralized Market Place and its Application to Bandwidth Trading
  • Compensation Analysis of Next Generation Services
  • Multipath Routing, Coordinated Congestion Control, Efficiency, and Cooperation
  • IMS Charging – A Key Step in Realizing Next Generation Networks
  • Congestion Pricing and Non-cooperative Games in Communication Networks
  • How Economic Models Fail
  • A Decentralized Learning Algorithm when Pricing a RED Buffer
  • Reshaping the Agenda
  • The Impact of Information and Computational Limitations in Mechanism Design
  • Licensing Models for the Grid

Dagstuhl Seminar Series


  • Interdisciplinary


  • Communications
  • Networking
  • Internet
  • Economics


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