economics-informed design of peer-to-peer, ad-hoc and overlay networks

Project Overview

From file-sharing to mobile ad-hoc networks, community networking to application layer overlays, the peer-to-peer networking paradigm promises to revolutionize the way we design, build and use the communications network of tomorrow, transform the structure of the communications industry, and challenge our understanding of markets and democracies in a digital age.

The fundamental premise of peer-to-peer systems is that individual peers voluntarily contribute resources to the system. However, the inherent tension between individual rationality and collective welfare produces a misalignment of incentives in the grassroots provisioning of p2p services. Our multi-disciplinary research team is working to develop a framework for understanding the technical and economic characteristics of p2p systems, and to design economic mechanisms for incentive compatible p2p applications.


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This project is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation under grants ANI-0085879 and ANI-0331659.