Jump to content United States-English
HP.com Home Products and Services Support and Drivers Solutions How to Buy
» Contact HP

hp.com home

Social Dilemmas and Internet Congestion

printable version

HP Labs

» Research
» News and events
» Technical reports
» About HP Labs
» Careers @ HP Labs
» People
» Worldwide sites
» Downloads
Content starts here

Bernardo A. Huberman and Rajan M. Lukose

AUTHOR = "Bernardo A. Huberman and Rajan M. Lukose",
TITLE = "Social Dilemmas and Internet Congestion",
JOURNAL = "Science",
VOLUME = "277",
PAGES = "535-537",
MONTH = "July 25",
YEAR = "1997"}

See also the Research News Story, "Model Explains Internet 'Storms'" on page 477.


Because the Internet is a public good and its numerous users are not charged in proportion to their use, it appears rational for individuals to consume bandwidth greedily while thinking that their actions have little effect on the overall performance of the Internet. Because every individual can reason this way, the whole Internet's performance can degrade considerably, which makes everyone worse off. An analysis of the congestions created by such dilemmas predicts that they are intermittent in nature with definite statistical properties leading to short-lived spikes in congestion. Internet latencies were measured over a wide range of conditions and locations and were found to confirm these predictions, thus providing a possible microscopic mechanism for the observed intermittent congestions of the Internet.

link to Science-on-Line

» Information Dynamics Lab

» Research areas
» Results
» People
Privacy statement Using this site means you accept its terms Feedback to HP Labs
© 2009 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.