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Avoiding the Braess paradox in non-cooperative networks

  • Yannis A. Korilis (a1), Aurel A. Lazar (a2) and Ariel Orda (a3)

The exponential growth of computer networking demands massive upgrades in the capacity of existing networks. Traditional capacity design methodologies, developed with the single-class networking paradigm in mind, overlook the non-cooperative structure of modern networks. Consequently, such design approaches entail the danger of degraded performance when resources are added to a network, a phenomenon known as the Braess paradox.

The present paper proposes methods for adding resources efficiently to a non-cooperative network of general topology. It is shown that the paradox is avoided when resources are added across the network, rather than on a local scale, and when upgrades are focused on direct connections between the sources and destinations. The relevance of these results for modern networks is demonstrated.

Corresponding author
Postal address: Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, Holmdel, NJ 07733, USA.
∗∗ Postal address: Department of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.
∗∗∗ Postal address: Department of Electrical Engineering, Technion, Haifa 32000, Israel. Email address:
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Journal of Applied Probability
  • ISSN: 0021-9002
  • EISSN: 1475-6072
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