Economic Issues in Communications Networks
I study the use of economic incentives, such as prices and discounts, to make it in the interest of individuals to cooperate with network management objectives. These models represent a form of real-time pricing that can be implemented with no advance knowledge of demand or individual customer preferences making them powerful management tools for objectives such as load-balancing or regulating peak period traffic.
I am also interested in methods for optimally pricing multiple services offered over a single ubiquitous network. This is relevant as network technologies are converging so that voice, entertainment and internet traffic can all be offered to individuals over a single ubiquitous network. This is a relatively new problem in communications since network technologies have been dictated by the type of service offered in the past with a single service offered over a single network, i.e. voice network, cable television networks and data networks were originally distinct.
The approaches I study to solve this type of problem include auctions as well as more conventional mathematical programming techniques. The goal of the models is to properly characterize the tradeoffs between serving demand for one type of service or another when the services compete for the same network resources.