EEL 6938 Special Topics: Network Economics and Architectures


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of Central Florida, Spring 2020


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


This is a course on the economics of networked systems, that are owned by multiple entities that have to compete as well as cooperate with each other to make the overall system work. The course takes a theoretical perspective on economics of networks in general and covers fundamental theory about how consensus or contagions take place in a networked system. The course gives particular attention on the economics of the Internet and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). 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 more than 4 billion Internet users as of 2019 and the pace of growth in the Internet usage has not shown significant slowdown for the last two decades. The Internet’s architectural design goes well beyond fundamental technical challenges of delivering end-to-end packet traffic and involves a market of value exchanges among many ISPs that both compete and cooperate with each other. In this course, we 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.


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

Mon, Jan 6

Lecture 1: Introduction

Week 1

Wed, Jan 8

Lecture 2: Internetworking Principles – Networking Paradigms

Week 1

Mon, Jan 13

Lecture 3: Internetworking Principles – Tussle Granularity & Wireless Effects

Week 2

Wed, Jan 15

Lecture 4: Architectural Essentials – End-to-End Principle, Reliability, Chebyshev’s Inequality

Week 2

Mon, Jan 20

Martin Luther King Jr. Day – NO CLASS


Wed, Jan 22

Lecture 5: Architectural Essentials – Fate Sharing, Origins of Hourglass

Week 3

Mon, Jan 27

Lecture 6: Architectural Essentials – Addressing and Forwarding

Week 4

Wed, Jan 29

Lecture 7: Architectural Essentials – Routing

Week 4

Mon, Feb 3

Lecture 8: Architectural Essentials – Routing

Week 5

Wed, Feb 5

Lecture 9: Intra-domain Routing

Week 5

Mon, Feb 10

Lecture 10: Inter-domain Routing – BGP

Week 6

Wed, Feb 12

Lecture 11: Inter-domain Routing – Traffic Engineering

Week 6

Mon, Feb 17

Lecture 12: Inter-ISP Market – SLAs, Pricing

Week 7

Wed, Feb 19

Lecture 13: Inter-ISP Market – Network Utility Maximization

Week 7


Mon, Feb 24

Lecture 14: Inter-ISP Market – Peering

Week 8

Wed, Feb 26

Lecture 15: Inter-ISP Market – Peering

Week 8


Mon, Mar 2

Project: Related Work Presentations

Week 9

Wed, Mar 4

Project: Related Work Presentations

Week 9

Mon, Mar 9

Spring Break – NO CLASS


Wed, Mar 11

Spring Break – NO CLASS


Mon, Mar 16

Class cancelled

Week 10

Wed, Mar 18

Lecture 16: Population Models – Information Cascade

Week 10

E&K, Ch. 16

Mon, Mar 23

Lecture 17: Population Models – Power Laws and Rich-Get-Richer

Week 11

E&K, Ch. 18

Wed, Mar 25

Lecture 18: Population Models – Network Effect

Week 11

E&K, Ch. 17

Mon, Mar 30

Lecture 19: Structural Models – Cascading in Networks

Week 12

E&K, Ch. 19

Wed, Apr 1

Lecture 20: Structural Models – Small-World

Week 12

E&K, Ch. 20

Mon, Apr 6

Lecture 21: Epidemics and Percolation

Week 13

E&K, Ch. 21

Wed, Apr 8

Lecture 22: Fairness – Max-min vs. Proportional Fairness

Week 13

Mon, Apr 13

Lecture 23: Fairness – Neutrality and Openness

Week 14

Wed, Apr 15

Project: Final Presentations

Week 14

Mon, Apr 20

Project: Final Presentations

Week 15




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 March 18, 2020