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Service management for multi-domain Active Networks

Tan, Alvin K. K.; (2004) Service management for multi-domain Active Networks. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The Internet is an example of a multi-agent system. In our context, an agent is synonymous with network operators, Internet service providers (ISPs) and content providers. ISPs mutually interact for connectivity's sake, but the fact remains that two peering agents are inevitably self-interested. Egoistic behaviour manifests itself in two ways. Firstly, the ISPs are able to act in an environment where different ISPs would have different spheres of influence, in the sense that they will have control and management responsibilities over different parts of the environment. On the other hand, contention occurs when an ISP intends to sell resources to another, which gives rise to at least two of its customers sharing (hence contending for) a common transport medium. The multi-agent interaction was analysed by simulating a game theoretic approach and the alignment of dominant strategies adopted by agents with evolving traits were abstracted. In particular, the contention for network resources is arbitrated such that a self-policing environment may emerge from a congested bottleneck. Over the past 5 years, larger ISPs have simply peddled as fast as they could to meet the growing demand for bandwidth by throwing bandwidth at congestion problems. Today, the dire financial positions of Worldcom and Global Crossing illustrate, to a certain degree, the fallacies of over-provisioning network resources. The proposed framework in this thesis enables subscribers of an ISP to monitor and police each other's traffic in order to establish a well-behaved norm in utilising limited resources. This framework can be expanded to other inter-domain bottlenecks within the Internet. One of the main objectives of this thesis is also to investigate the impact on multi-domain service management in the future Internet, where active nodes could potentially be located amongst traditional passive routers. The advent of Active Networking technology necessitates node-level computational resource allocations, in addition to prevailing resource reservation approaches for communication bandwidth. Our motivation is to ensure that a service negotiation protocol takes account of these resources so that the response to a specific service deployment request from the end-user is consistent and predictable. To promote the acceleration of service deployment by means of Active Networking technology, a pricing model is also evaluated for computational resources (e.g., CPU time and memory). Previous work in these areas of research only concentrate on bandwidth (i.e., communication) - related resources. Our pricing approach takes account of both guaranteed and best-effort service by adapting the arbitrage theorem from financial theory. The central tenet for our approach is to synthesise insights from different disciplines to address problems in data networks. The greater parts of research experience have been obtained during direct and indirect participation in the 1ST-10561 project known as FAIN (Future Active IP Networks) and ACTS-AC338 project called MIAMI (Mobile Intelligent Agent for Managing the Information Infrastructure). The Inter-domain Manager (IDM) component was integrated as an integral part of the FAIN policy-based network management systems (PBNM). Its monitoring component (developed during the MIAMI project) learns about routing changes that occur within a domain so that the management system and the managed nodes have the same topological view of the network. This enabled our reservation mechanism to reserve resources along the existing route set up by whichever underlying routing protocol is in place.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Service management for multi-domain Active Networks
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest
Keywords: Applied sciences; Multiagent systems
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100982
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