Sharing the Cost of Backbone Networks Cui Bono?
The authors study the problem of how to share the cost of a backbone network among its customers. A variety of empirical cost-sharing policies is used in practice by backbone network operators but very little ever reaches the research literature about their properties. Motivated by this, they present a systematic study of such policies focusing on the discrepancies between their cost allocations. They aim at quantifying how the selection of a particular policy biases an operator's understanding of cost generation. They identify F-discrepancies due to the specific function used to map traffic into cost (e.g., volume vs. peak rate vs. 95-percentile) and M-discrepancies, which have to do with where traffic is metered (per device vs. ingress metering).