EEL 6938 Special Topics: Network Economics and Architectures


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of Central Florida, Spring 2017


Course Information - Description - Prerequisites - Textbooks - Syllabus - Organization - Grading -  Schedule, Notes & Assignments - Acknowledgment


The Internet has revolutionized the way we live and think, as it is now one of the most critical infrastructures of all time. There are about 4 billion Internet users as of this year and the pace of growth in the Internet usage has not shown significant slowdown for the last two decades. The Internet design goes well beyond fundamental technical challenges of delivering end-to-end packet traffic and involves a market of value exchanges among many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that both compete and cooperate with each other. In this course, we aim to cover recent developments in the Internet architecture research with a focus on economic and policy issues. We will survey principles of internetworking architectures and delve into their projections on function placement and decomposition. We will explore the implications of network economics on the evolution and practice of network architectures. We will detail how the market among the ISPs works and explore the multi-provider inter-ISP economics in terms of pricing, peering, edge-to-edge tussle, neutrality, fairness, and openness. We will further investigate dynamics such as networking and population effects and their impact on the scale of the network architectures: power laws and scale-free composition. From simple networks to the Internet, we will cover how these dynamics contribute to the formation of the current and the future Internet structure. We will also cover recent and emerging forms of network economics such as cryptocurrencies.


Course Information



Phone: (407) 823-4181

Web page:

Office: HEC 317A

Office hours:



Principles of internetworking architectures; and their projections on function placement and decomposition as well as various network protocol elements such as routing, naming, and addressing. Implications of network economics on the evolution and practice of network architectures and systems. Multi-provider inter-ISP economics: Pricing, peering, edge-to-edge tussle, neutrality, fairness, and openness. Networking and population effects and their impact on the scale of the network design: power laws and scale-free composition. Cryptocurrencies and networked value exchanges.



EEL 4781 Computer Communication Networks or equivalent or consent of instructor



There is no required textbook for this course. Since this is an advanced level class, the textbook is only the starting point for the majority of topics that we will cover. The lecture slides will cover ideas from a broad range of sources including other books, papers, and RFCs. A running list of reading materials for the course is available here. In addition, the following book is recommended but not required:



Syllabus (Tentative)


  1. Internetworking Principles


  1. Architectural Essentials


  1. Pricing, Peering, and Inter-ISP Market


  1. Population Models


  1. Structural Models


  1. Fairness


  1. Cryptocurrencies


  1. Spectrum Economics




Grading (Tentative)

Grading Policy

Research Project






Grading Scale

90% - 100%

A-, A

80% - 89%

B-, B, B+

65% - 79%

C-, C, C+

55% - 64%


0% - 54%


Important Note: Re-grading requests can only be made within the first week after the graded assignments/tests are returned to the students.



Schedule (Tentative), Notes & Assignments

This is a tentative schedule. It is subject to readjustment depending on the time we actually spend in class covering the topics. Slides presented in class and assignments will be posted at the WebCourses.



Assignments & Notes

Tue, Jan 10

Lecture 1: Introduction


Thu, Jan 12

Lecture 2: Internetworking Principles – Networking Paradigms


Tue, Jan 17

Lecture 3: Internetworking Principles – Tussle Granularity


Thu, Jan 19

Lecture 4: Internetworking Principles – Wireless Effects


Tue, Jan 24

Lecture 5: Architectural Essentials – End-to-End Principle, Reliability, Chebyshev’s Inequality


Thu, Jan 26



Tue, Jan 31

Lecture 6: Architectural Essentials – Fate Sharing, Origins of Hourglass


Thu, Feb 2

Lecture 7: Architectural Essentials – Addressing and Forwarding


Tue, Feb 7

Lecture 8: Architectural Essentials – Routing


Thu, Feb 9

Lecture 9: Inter-ISP Market – Inter-domain Routing, BGP

HW1 Due

Tue, Feb 14

Lecture 10: Game Theory for Networks (by Dr. Chatterjee)


Thu, Feb 16

Lecture 11: Inter-ISP Market – Traffic Engineering


Tue, Feb 21

Lecture 12: Inter-ISP Market – SLAs, Peering Agreements & Wars

Project: Title & Abstract Due

Thu, Feb 23

Lecture 13: Inter-ISP Market – Peering, Gravity Model



Tue, Feb 28

Lecture 14: Inter-ISP Market – Pricing

HW2 Due

Thu, Mar 2

Lecture 15: Population Models – Information Cascade

E&K, Ch. 16

Tue, Mar 7

Project Related Work Presentations

Project: Literature Due

Thu, Mar 9

Project Related Work Presentations


Tue, Mar 14

Spring Break – NO CLASS


Thu, Mar 16

Spring Break – NO CLASS


Tue, Mar 21

Lecture 16: Population Models – Power Laws and Rich-Get-Richer Phenomena

E&K, Ch. 18

Thu, Mar 23

Lecture 17: Population Models – Network Effect

E&K, Ch. 17

Tue, Mar 28

Lecture 18: Structural Models – Cascading in Networks

E&K, Ch. 19

Thu, Mar 30

Lecture 19: Structural Models – Small-World

E&K, Ch. 20

Tue, Apr 4

Lecture 20: Epidemics, Network Utility Maximization

E&K, Ch. 21

HW3 Due

Thu, Apr 6

Lecture 21: Fairness – Max-min vs. Proportional Fairness


Tue, Apr 11

Lecture 22: Fairness – Neutrality and Openness


Thu, Apr 13

Lecture 23: Cryptocurrencies

Project Final Presentations


Tue, Apr 18

Project Final Presentations

HW4 Due

Thu, Apr 20

Project Final Presentations

Project: Final Report Due




The materials for this course are in part based upon the materials from a number of people/sources, including:

·      Official website for the Easley & Kleinberg text: Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World

·      Mehmet H. Gunes from UNR:

·      Nick Feamster from Georgia Tech:

·      Hari Balakrishnan from MIT:

·      Jure Leskovec from Stanford:

·      Luis von Ahn from CMU:

·      Jason D. Hartline from Northwestern:

·      Nicole Immorlica from Northwestern:

·      Adam Wierman from CalTech:


Course Information - Description - Prerequisites - Textbooks - Syllabus - Organization - Grading -  Schedule, Notes & Assignments - Acknowledgment


Last updated on April 6, 2017