Incentive-compatible interdomain routing

Joan Feigenbaum*, Vijay Ramachandran, Michael Schapira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The routing of traffic between Internet domains, or Autonomous Systems (ASes), a task known as interdomain routing, is currently handled by the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP, Rekhter and Li in RFC 4271 of the Internet Engineering Task Force, 2006). Using BGP, ASes can apply semantically rich routing policies to choose interdomain routes in a distributed fashion. This expressiveness in routing-policy choice supports domains' autonomy in network operations and in business decisions, but it comes at a price: The interaction of locally defined routing policies can lead to unexpected global anomalies, including route oscillations or overall protocol divergence (see, e.g., Varadhan et al. in Comput Networks 32(1):1-16, 2000). Networking researchers have addressed this problem by devising constraints on policies that guarantee BGP convergence without unduly limiting expressiveness and autonomy (see, e.g., Gao and Rexford in IEEE/ACM Trans Network 9(6):681-692, 2001; Griffin et al. in Proceedings of 9th ACM Conference on Applications, Technologies, Architectures, and Protocols for Computer Communication (SIGCOMM'03), pp. 61-72. ACM Press, New York, 2003). In addition to taking this engineering or "protocol- design" approach, researchers have approached interdomain routing from an economic or "mechanism-design" point of view. It is known that lowest-cost-path (LCP) routing can be implemented in an incentive-compatible, BGP-compatible manner (Feigenbaum et al. in Distribut. Comput 18(1):61-72, 2005; Shneidman and Parkes in Proceedings of 23rd ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC'04), pp. 88-97. ACM Press, New York, 2004) but that several other natural classes of policies cannot (Feigenbaum et al. in Theor Comput Sci 378(2):175-189, 2007; Feigenbaum et al. in Distribut Comput 18(4):293-305, 2006). In this paper, we present the first example of a class of interdomain-routing policies that is more general than LCP routing and for which BGP itself is both incentive-compatible and guaranteed to converge. We also present several steps toward a general theory of incentive-compatible, BGP-compatible interdomain routing.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)301-319
Number of pages19
JournalDistributed Computing
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) University Research Initiative (URI) program administered by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) under grants N00014–01–1–0795 and N00014–04–1–0725. An extended abstract appeared in []. J. Feigenbaum was supported in part by ONR grants N00014–01–1–0795, N00014–04–1–0725, and N00014–09–1–0757, by NSF grants 0208972, 0219018, and 0428422, and by HSARPA grant ARO–1756303. V. Ramachandran was supported in part by ONR grant N00014–01–1–0795 and by NSF grants 0524139 and 0751674; work done in part while at ICSI and at the Stevens Institute of Technology. M. Schapira was supported by NSF grant 0331548 and by grants from the Israel Science Foundation and the USA-Israel Bi-national Science Foundation; work done in part while visiting Yale University as a graduate student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


  • Algorithmic mechanism design
  • BGP
  • Inter domain-routing protocols
  • Routing policies


Dive into the research topics of 'Incentive-compatible interdomain routing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this