The effect of competition among brokers on the quality and price of differentiated internet services
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Citation (published version)Ghasemi, Maryam; Matta, Ibrahim; Esposito, Flavio. The Effect of Competition among Brokers on the Quality and Price of Differentiated Internet Services. Technical Report BU-CS-TR 2016-009, Computer Science Department, Boston University, October 4, 2016.
Price war, as an important factor in undercutting competitors and attracting customers, has spurred considerable work that analyzes such conflict situation. However, in most of these studies, quality of service (QoS), as an important decision-making criterion, has been neglected. Furthermore, with the rise of service-oriented architectures, where players may offer different levels of QoS for different prices, more studies are needed to examine the interaction among players within the service hierarchy. In this paper, we present a new approach to modeling price competition in (virtualized) service-oriented architectures, where there are multiple service levels. In our model, brokers, as the intermediaries between end-users and service providers, offer different QoS by adapting the service that they obtain from lower-level providers so as to match the demands of their clients to the services of providers. To maximize profit, players, i.e. providers and brokers, at each level compete in a Bertrand game while they offer different QoS. To maintain an oligopoly market, we then describe underlying dynamics which lead to a Bertrand game with price constraints at the providers' level. Numerical simulations demonstrate the behavior of brokers and providers and the effect of price competition on their market shares.