Economic, Energy-efficient, and Scalable Bandwidth Allocation in Fixed and Wireless Networks (EcoNets)

There is an increased awareness of the importance of energy-efficiency in the Internet. Energy consumption is indeed getting an important cost factor as energy costs are increasing and higher capacity network equipment consumes more energy. Emerging network virtualization technologies have a high potential to improve energy-efficiency as they enable the allocation of bandwidth on demand on top of shared network infrastructure. However, suitable business models for "on demand" bandwidth services have not yet evolved. At the same time, many wireless access points are consuming energy even though they are idle most of the time. There is a potential to improve energy-efficiency through cooperation among different wireless access providers. However, without appropriate settlement schemes providers have little incentives to cooperate.

General Information

Reference: SNF Fellowship: PA00P2_124152 / 1
Source of funding: Swiss National Science Foundation
Project Host:
University of California at Berkeley
Project Duration: Nov 1, 2009 - April 30, 2011
Official Project Home Page:

Project Overview

The aim of EcoNets is to develop new mechanisms in support of an economic and energy-efficient bandwidth allocation in fixed and wireless networks. The key idea is to leverage the potentials of cooperation and resource sharing with new schemes providing appropriate incentives to allocate bandwidth only where and when it is needed. The design of scalable resource allocation policies and incentives for cooperation in this context are very challenging research questions. Resource allocation mechanisms should aim, ideally, to maximize the overall social welfare of the system. Auctions are a standard way to achieve such objectives, but the distributed environment and the different types of resources involved poses significant challenges on their design and implementation.

This work is highly relevant for future bandwidth allocation systems, as it develops alternative mechanisms which will lead to a more economic and energy-efficient use of network resources. Moreover, customers will benefit from the newly developed schemes as the bandwidth needs of their applications can be met in a highly scalable and cost-effective manner.