Quantifying deployability and evolvability of future internet architectures via economic models

Ye Li, Hong Xie, John C.S. Lui, Kenneth L. Calvert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Emerging new applications demand the current Internet to provide new functionalities. Although many future Internet architectures and protocols have been proposed to fulfill such needs, ISPs have been reluctant to deploy many of these architectures. We believe technical issues are not the main reasons as many of these new proposals are technically sound. In this paper, we take an economic perspective and seek to answer: Why do most new Internet architectures fail to be deployed? How can the deployability of a new architecture be enhanced? We develop a game-theoretic model to characterize the outcome of an architecture's deployment through the equilibrium of ISPs' decisions. This model enables us to: (1) analyze several key factors of the deployability of a new architecture such as the number of critical ISPs and the change of routing path; (2) explain the deploying outcomes of some previously proposed architectures/protocols such as IPv6, DiffServ, CDN, etc., and shed light on the “Internet flattening phenomenon”; (3) predict the deployability of a new architecture such as NDN, and compare its deployability with competing architectures. Our study suggests that the difficulty to deploy a new Internet architecture comes from the “coordination” of distributed ISPs. Finally, we design a mechanism to enhance the deployability of new architectures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1995-2008
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 IEEE. Personal use is permitted, but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission.


  • Deployment of network protocols
  • Future Internet architecture
  • Game theory
  • Network economics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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