Pricing Network Services


Our research in this area deals with the study of pricing schemes for computer networks. We are developing pricing models which have a sound theoretical justification and satisfy desirable properties such as the accurate and fair reflection of the network resource utilization, the protection of the network from malicious use, the maximisation of the network and user welfare, and are easy to implement. Specific areas we are investigating include the application of effective bandwidths in pricing schemes, the use of microeconomic models, and recent proposals for Internet transport pricing. Also important are the development of methods for on-line QoS monitoring, appropriate for the needs of the pricing algorithms and the exploitation of existing technologies for monitoring and shaping of network traffic. We are also investigating the requirements that pricing models impose on the network management architecture. This involves the extension of existing MIBs to support charging functions, the decomposition of charging and accounting functions, and the mapping of these to specific management functions implemented in different levels of the management hierarchy. We also apply auction theory as means of allocating and charging telecom resources and develop meaningful pricing schemes for peer to peer, virtual home environment and multicasting sevices. 

Representative Publications

  • C. Courcoubetis, R.R. Weber. Pricing Communication Networks: Economics, Technology and Modelling, Wiley, 2003.
  • C. Courcoubetis, F. P. Kelly, and R. Weber. Measurement-based usage charges in communication networks . Statistical Laboratory Research Report 1997-19, University of Cambridge. To appear in Operations Research. Available here. A local copy (.ps.gz) is also available.
  • C. Courcoubetis, V. A. Siris, and G. D. Stamoulis Application of the many sources asymptotic and effective bandwidths to traffic engineering. Telecommunication Systems, 12:167--191, 1999. [preprint (.ps.gz)]
  • C. Courcoubetis, F. P. Kelly, V. A. Siris, and R. Weber. A Study of simple usage-based charging schemes for broadband networks. Submitted August 1998. An earlier version appeared in Broadband Communications'98, Stuttgart, Germany, April 1998. [draft2 (.ps.gz)]
  • V. A. Siris, D.J. Songhurst, G.D. Stamoulis, and M. Stoer. Usage-based charging using effective bandwidths: studies and reality. Accepted at 16th International Teletraffic Congress (ITC-16), Edinburgh, UK, June 1999. Extended version available as [TR-243 (.ps.gz)]
  • C. Courcoubetis and V. A. Siris. Managing and pricing service level agreements for differentiated services. In Proceedings of the 7th IEEE/IFIP IWQoS'99 International Workshop on Quality of Service, UCL, London, UK, May 31 - June 4, 1999. [.ps.gz]
  • C. Courcoubetis and V. A. Siris. An approach to pricing and resource sharing for ABR services. In Proc. of IEEE Globecom'98, Sydney, Australia, November 1998. [.ps.gz] Extended version in TR-212
  • C. Courcoubetis, G. D. Stamoulis, C.Manolakis, and F.P.Kelly An Intelligent Agent for Optimizing QoS-for-Money in Priced ABR Connections. Submitted to Telecommunication Systems. [.ps.gz].