Charging is an essential aspect of any commercially successful network operation and service provisioning. Charging and billing systems in use today serve up to millions of pre-paid and post-paid customers employing mainly time-based and volume-based tariffs as well as flat rate pricing. Their proper functioning depends on the accurate, complete and timely collection of relevant resource consumption data caused by user activities in the network. This process is called accounting and is brought about by an accounting system normally comprising a larger number of heterogeneous accounting resources distributed in the network on the different network and service elements. In this PhD thesis, we present a novel mechanism that enables self-configurability for accounting systems consisting of heterogeneous components to address current trends and developments. Based on a simulation study we show that the proposed mechanism is competitive with considered cost-based and random mechanisms under realistic assumptions and up to non-extreme workload situations without showing their individual weaknesses.
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