Marketing Papers

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Information Systems Research





Start Page


Last Page





Cooperative caching is a popular mechanism to allow an array of distributed caches to cooperate and serve each others' Web requests. Controlling duplication of documents across cooperating caches is a challenging problem faced by cache managers. In this paper, we study the economics of document duplication in strategic and nonstrategic settings. We have three primary findings. First, we find that the optimum level of duplication at a cache is nondecreasing in intercache latency, cache size, and extent of request locality. Second, in situations in which cache peering spans organizations, we find that the interaction between caches is a game of strategic substitutes wherein a cache employs lesser resources towards eliminating duplicate documents when the other caches employs more resources towards eliminating duplicate documents at that cache. Thus, a significant challenge will be to simultaneously induce multiple caches to contribute more resources towards reducing duplicate documents in the system. Finally, centralized decision making, which as expected provides improvements in average latency over a decentralized setup, can entail highly asymmetric duplication levels at the caches. This in turn can benefit one set of users at the expense of the other, and thus will be challenging to implement.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Originally published in Information Systems Research © 2012 INFORMS

This is a pre-publication version. The final version is available at


web caching, cooperative caching, duplication in caching, analytical modeling, incentive-centered design, game theory



Date Posted: 15 June 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.