Computer networks, in particular the Internet, represent critical infrastructure for business, government, military, and personal communication. Several recent trends in technology and network use have pushed the capabilities required of the Internet beyond what can be provided by the currently deployed infrastructure. This project develops a new architectural design for the Internet of the near future that represents a transformative shift to enable sustained innovation in the core of the network, using economic principles. The core idea of this new network architecture is to support choice as the central aspect of the architecture. A network built on these principles will be able to adapt to emerging solutions for current and future challenges. The network architecture designed and prototyped in this work aims to (1) encourage alternatives to allow users to choose from a range of services, (2) let users vote with their wallet to reward superior and innovative services, (3) provide the mechanisms to stay informed on available alternatives and their performances. Solutions are approached from different directions, reflecting the team's multidisciplinary expertise in computer networking, network systems, management science, and network economics.
The broader impact of this project contributes to enhancing the functionality and usability of the next-generation Internet, which is expected to become an important piece of infrastructure. The project also integrates research and education of graduate and undergraduate students at the participating organizations, where current efforts to integrate underrepresented minorities are continued. Results from this work are disseminated in the form of an open-source prototype and publications.