Summary: Selfish Behavior and Stability of the Internet: A
Game-Theoretic Analysis of TCP
Aditya Akella, Srinivasan Seshan
Richard Karp, Scott Shenker
For years, the conventional wisdom [7, 22] has been that the con-
tinued stability of the Internet depends on the widespread deploy-
ment of "socially responsible" congestion control. In this paper,
we seek to answer the following fundamental question: If network
end-points behaved in a selfish manner, would the stability of the
Internet be endangered?
We evaluate the impact of greedy end-point behavior through
a game-theoretic analysis of TCP. In this "TCP Game" each flow
attempts to maximize the throughput it achieves by modifying
its congestion control behavior. We use a combination of analysis
and simulation to determine the Nash Equilibrium of this game.