Appears in Proceedings of the
23rd IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM 2004)

We analyze the characteristics of overlay routing networks generated by
selfish nodes playing competitive network construction games. We
explore several networking scenarios---some simplistic, others more
realistic---and analyze the resulting Nash equilibrium graphs with
respect to topology, performance, and resilience. We find a fundamental
tradeoff between performance and resilience, and show that limiting the
degree of nodes is of great importance in controlling this balance.
Further, by varying the cost function, the game produces widely
different topologies; one parameter in particular---the relative cost
between maintaining an overlay link and increasing the path length to
other nodes---can generate topologies with node-degree distributions
whose tails vary from exponential to power-law. We conclude that competitive
games can create overlay routing networks satisfying very diverse goals.