An Axiomatic Approach to Routing

Omer Lev
(Hebrew University and Microsoft Research, Israel)
Moshe Tennenholtz
Aviv Zohar
(Hebrew University and Microsoft Research, Israel)

Information delivery in a network of agents is a key issue for large, complex systems that need to do so in a predictable, efficient manner. The delivery of information in such multi-agent systems is typically implemented through routing protocols that determine how information flows through the network. Different routing protocols exist each with its own benefits, but it is generally unclear which properties can be successfully combined within a given algorithm. We approach this problem from the axiomatic point of view, i.e., we try to establish what are the properties we would seek to see in such a system, and examine the different properties which uniquely define common routing algorithms used today.

We examine several desirable properties, such as robustness, which ensures adding nodes and edges does not change the routing in a radical, unpredictable ways; and properties that depend on the operating environment, such as an "economic model", where nodes choose their paths based on the cost they are charged to pass information to the next node. We proceed to fully characterize minimal spanning tree, shortest path, and weakest link routing algorithms, showing a tight set of axioms for each.

In R Ramanujam: Proceedings Fifteenth Conference on Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge (TARK 2015), Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA, June 4-6, 2015, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 215, pp. 194–206.
Published: 23rd June 2016.

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