Formal Models for Fairness and Congestion Control on the Internet in Developing Context

The Internet is arguably one of the most generative contemporary technologies with a profound
influence on every aspect of modern society. The fact that it is generally accepted among the
most important drivers for development makes its proliferation and diffusion essential in less
developed countries and regions as well, which demands as higher penetration and diffusion of
the Internet technology among the people as possible. However, sometimes these processes are
being impaired by unintended and intended consequences created by the social dynamics, which
usually drives many of the scientific innovations. The research presented in the thesis attempts to
give an insight in both unintended (such as the protocols being used, the applications being
preferred) and intended (such as profit and network efficiency) implications and their effect on
unfair sharing of network resources among users in the capacity constrained network
infrastructures such as the ones often found in the developing regions. There are well established
findings that show the unfairness may lead to flow starvation and eventually system imbalances
problems. These problems contribute to further deterioration of the QoS for the services being
delivered. A phenomenon which causes user dissatisfaction with the services and creates a
negative perception of what the Internet can deliver for personal/homestead/national development. The solution to these problems largely found in regions with capacity constrained
networks has been “to pay more money” for capacity increase, which arguably has denied a large
number of low-income earners (and in particular those from rural areas) from accessing the

In order to indentify the possibilities to remedy the situation , the thesis studies the current trends
in understanding and applying the fairness concept and its importance on the Internet with focus
and emphasize on developing regions where the Internet is seen as a means to facilitate overall
social progress. Furthermore, it examines the extension of the fairness concept in the context of
development and presents a framework that strikes for achieving a balancing point that meets the
objectives of both the ISP and the end users, which can be summarized as a profit maximization
and utility maximization of the connectivity paid for, respectively. The concepts of efficiency,
fairness, and congestion are pertinent to understanding the causes of the problem and are
modeled on social welfare maximization paradigms. A tradeoff analysis among these concepts
establishes a feasible region that guarantees delivery of selected services considered essential for fostering development. This should have also an effect on the QoS in the capacity-constrained
networks without jeopardizing the ISP and end user objectives.

distortion of fairness concept in IP based capacity-constrained networks, which is essential in
developing regions where there is deficiency in network capacity. Therefore, the goal is to
parameterize tradeoff between services equality (sensitivity to service fairness) and throughput
maximization (sensitivity to effort fairness). This address the issue of letting the users to go by
there preferences in using different applications, but control the possible distortion such that the
value “utility” end users get are fairly equitable. Similarly, sensitivity to effort fairness
(throughput maximization) addresses the ISP. The assumption is that the higher the throughput delivered to the end user the more there is revenue for the ISP.

Respondent: Elly Amani Gamukama
Opponent: Dr. Iskra Popova, DSV
Examinator: Professor Louise Yngström, DSV
Handledare: Professor Oliver Popov, DSV    

Tid: Fredag 12 mars 2010, kl 13.00
Plats: Sal 7501, DSV, Forum, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista