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Study of Network Migration to New Technologies Using Agent-Based Modeling Techniques


Conventionally, network migration models study competition between emerging and incumbent technologies by considering the resulting increase in revenue and associated cost of migration. We propose to advance the science in the existing network migration models by considering additional critical factors, including (1) synergistic relationships across multiple technologies, (2) reduction in operational expenditures as a reason to migrate, and (3) implications of local network effects on migration decisions. To this end, we propose a novel agent-based migration model considering these factors. Based on the model, we analyze the case study of network migration to two emerging networking paradigms, i.e., IETF Path Computation Element (PCE) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN). We validate our model using extensive simulations. Our results demonstrate the synergistic effects of migration to multiple complementary technologies, and show that a technology migration may be eased by the joint migration to multiple technologies. In particular, we find that migration to SDN can be eased by joint migration to PCE, and that the benefits derived from SDN are best exploited in combination with PCE, than by itself.

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  1. 1.

    In Sect. 3.3, we discuss at length the inter-relationships between PCE and SDN. However, here we would like the reader to note that SDN and PCE are not really fundamentally re-thinking the technologies in the networking landscape. For instance, SDN is more like a natural evolution, incorporating technologies that existed already for quite some time. Just like, before OpenFlow, there was SNMP.

  2. 2.

    Although in our simulations (in Sect. 5), we consider the relevant radius to be five hops, it would be interesting to investigate the effect of this parameter on the migration profile for real-world scenarios. This effect can probably be game-theoretically modeled, however, this is in particular is not our focus here, and hence beyond the scope of this paper.


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This work has been supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under support code 01BP12300A; EUREKA-Project SASER.

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Correspondence to Tamal Das.

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Das, T., Drogon, M., Jukan, A. et al. Study of Network Migration to New Technologies Using Agent-Based Modeling Techniques. J Netw Syst Manage 23, 920–949 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10922-014-9327-3

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  • Network economics
  • Agent-based models
  • Path computation element
  • Software defined networking
  • Local network effects