Predictability of revenue and costs to both operators and users is critical for payment schemes. We study the issue of the design of payment schemes in networks with bandwidth sharing. The model we consider is a processor sharing system that is accessed by various classes of users with different processing requirements or file sizes. The users are charged according to a Vickrey-Clarke-Groves mechanism because of its efficiency and fairness when logarithmic utility functions are involved. Subject to a given mean revenue for the operator, we study whether it is preferable for a user to pay upon arrival, depending on the congestion level, or whether the user should opt to pay at the end. This leads to a study of the volatility of payment schemes and we show that opting for prepayment is preferable from a user point of view. The analysis yields new results on the asymptotic behavior of conditional response times for processor sharing systems and connections to associated orthogonal polynomials.
"Conditional sojourn times and the volatility of payment schemes for bandwidth sharing in packet networks." J. Appl. Probab. 52 (4) 962 - 980, December 2015. https://doi.org/10.1239/jap/1450802746