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Reconciling community resource requirements in U-Nets

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Publication date2009
Host publicationProceedings of the 1st ACM workshop on User-provided networking: challenges and opportunities
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
Number of pages6
ISBN (print)978-1-60558-750-9
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameU-NET '09


A challenge for future user-provided networks will be reconciling potentially conflicting demands for a finite resource, such as network bandwidth. In this position paper, we discuss how this problem is tackled in an operational community-driven wireless mesh network. A key outcome of this discussion is that, although the approach that has evolved is not ideal, it allows the reconciliation of conflicting demands for use of the shared network to reflect communal concerns; a property we believe is essential to its success, and that of user-provided networks. We argue that user-driven distributed arbitration of requests for resource is necessary in a user-provided network, and via a simple abstraction we discuss design options to enable this. The consequences of incorrect design decisions could negatively impact a network and its community of users. To help us make appropriate design decisions, we could look to scientific methods, such as game theory. However, we find them unable to model the intricacies of communal life, leading us to suggest it is necessary to stop considering users as anonymous rational persons and to start factoring in their personalities and beliefs.