Incentive schemes for Internet congestion management: Raffles versus time-of-day pricing

TitleIncentive schemes for Internet congestion management: Raffles versus time-of-day pricing
Publication TypeConference Papers
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLoiseau, P., G. Schwartz, J. Musacchio, and S. Amin
Conference NameCommunication, Control, and Computing (Allerton), 2011 49th Annual Allerton Conference on
Date PublishedSept
KeywordsAggregates, Atomic measurements, Congestion pricing, Delay, demand management, game theory, game-theoretic model, incentive schemes, Internet, Internet congestion management, Nash equilibrium, off-peak time, pricing, probabilistic pricing, public good, raffle-based incentive schemes, raffle-based scheme, random reward, scheme sensitivity, telecommunication traffic, time-of-day pricing scheme, user utilities uncertainty

The Internet is plagued with congestion problems of growing severity which are worst at peak periods. In this paper, we compare two schemes that incentivize users to shift part of their usage from the peak-time to the off-peak time. The traditional time-of-day pricing scheme gives a fixed reward per unit of shifted usage. Conversely, the raffle-based scheme provides a random reward distributed in proportion of each user's fraction of the total shifted usage. Using a game-theoretic model, we show that both schemes can achieve an optimal level of decongestion at a unique Nash equilibrium. We provide a comparison of the schemes' sensitivity to uncertainty of the users' utilities.