Abstract

In paper we present an overview of recent work on resource pricing for differentiated services in the Internet. This approach is based upon encouraging cooperation between the end-systems and the network by use of the correct feedback signals. These signals reflect the congestion shadow prices at a resource, and their use means then even ‘selfish’ end-systems, acting in their own best interests, will push the system to a global or social optimum. In contrast to most current Diffserv proposals, little is required from resources in the network; they just have to mark packets correctly, while the end-system can use complex or simple strategies. All that is needed is for the end-systems to have an incentive to react to the feedback signals, and then we have a distributed resource sharing mechanism. We give examples of typical end-system behaviour, and show how this approach can also implement Distributed Admission Control, where the decision is in the hand of the end-system. We comment on how ECN (Explicit Congestion Notification) could be used as an enabling technology. Lastly we outline how guarantees can be constructed with this framework.