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Internet Tiered Services BookInternet Tiered Services: Theory, Economics, and Quality of Service

Springer, 2009

George N. Rouskas










Internet Tiered Services: Theory, Economics, and Quality of Service provides a comprehensive treatment of the problems and issues arising in providing Internet tiered services.

As telecommunications products and services have become an essential part of everyday life, consumers have at the same time grown intimately familiar with the concept of tiered pricing that is associated with such services. With tiered service structures, users may select from a small set of tiers that offer progressively higher levels of service with a corresponding increase in price. Tiered structures have been applied in several forms to wireless services (e.g., characterized by the amount of voice minutes, number of text messages, or the size of one's circle of friends to whom voice calls are free), Internet broadband access (e.g., the access speed or volume of monthly transferred data), and digital TV offerings (e.g., the number of channels included), among others. Service tiering is a form of market segmentation which, if applied appropriately, benefits both providers and consumers by making available services and associated price points that reflect the diversity in consumers' needs and ability to pay.

The purpose of this book is to develop a theoretical framework for reasoning about and pricing Internet tiered services, as well as a practical algorithmic toolset for network providers to develop customized menus of service offerings. We provide a comprehensive study of the design, sizing, and pricing of tiered structures for Internet services, and we illustrate their potential in simplifying the operation of complex components such as packet schedulers. The topic corresponds to a graduate-level field of study that combines the fields of Internet services, economics, and quality of service (QoS) in network resource allocation.

The Introduction (Chapter 1) provides a motivation for, and definition of, tiered network services, and discusses existing business models in this context. The remainder of the book is divided into three parts, each addressing a distinct aspect of tiered services.

Part I, Theory, consists of Chapters 2-6. This part builds upon concepts from location theory to develop a theoretical framework for reasoning about and tackling algorithmically several important problems related to tiered network services.

Part II, Economics, contains Chapters 7-9, and employs concepts from economic theory to formulate the problem of tier selection in a manner that takes into account the realities of the marketplace.

Part III, Quality of Service, illustrates the practical implications of tiered services by considering a central component of packet-switched networks, the link scheduler. This part introduces a new service discipline, referred to as tiered service fair queueing (TSFQ), that achieves tight delay bounds and worst-case fairness with low algorithmic and implementation complexity.

Internet Tiered Services: Theory, Economics, and Quality of Service is a valuable reference for practicing engineers as well as industry and academic researchers.



Preface (pdf)

1. Introduction (pdf)

Part I: Theory

2. The Directional p-Median Problem: Definition and Applications

3. Bandwidth Tiered Service: Deterministic Demands

4. Bandwidth Tiered Service: TDM Emulation

5. Bandwidth Tiered Service: Stochastic Demands

6. Tiered Structures for Multiple Services

Part II: Economics

7. Economic Model for Bandwidth Tiered Service

8. Service Tiering As a Market Segmentation Strategy

9. Tiered Service Bundling Under Budget Constraints

Part III: Quality of Service

10. Packet Scheduling

11. Tiered-Service Fair Queueing (TSFQ)

Index (pdf)