- The internet has just about exhausted the IPv4 address space.
- When I was ten years old, or so, I had to start dialing the area code for all outbound phone calls, even for numbers in my area code, whereas before I usually only had to dial 7 digits.
Now, 7 digits is enough to address ~107 (ten million) individual homes, which is several orders of magnitude larger than the population of my area code.
As of 2014, there are approximately 1010 (ten billion) devices connected to the internet, and only 232 (four billion) unique IPv4 addresses, but IPv4 exhaustion was a problem long before then.
The problem, in both cases, is that hierarchical allocation has built-in inefficiencies.
There are a number of meaningful advantages to hierarchical allocations (categorization and distribution of management chief among them), but it does have the major drawback of precluding 1:1 allocation of resources to consumers (or addresses to addressees, etc).
In fact, the inefficiency is exponential in the depth of the hierarchy, because trimming the tree at any level precludes assignment of that node and any of its children, down to the leaves (e.g. not permitting "911" to be an area code, or over-allocating large IPv4 blocks to individual institutions early on).
Is there a established term of art or industry which captures the inherent inefficiency of hierarchical allocation?
If not, how can I concisely describe it in a way that won't require further elaboration?
I'll upvote all useful answers; the answer which is best-recognized by the widest audience (for established terms) or requires the least elaboration (for novel coinings) will be accepted.
Note: The term sought does not have to be technical in nature, and in fact I'd prefer something with greater currency or historical support.
I'm sure governments or large organizations which allocate budget to states or departments, whence to middle-managers or cities, whence to ... have noticed this issue as well, and in that context it may well-studied already.
Possibly it's well-known in a martial context as well (distributions of rations and materiel to battalions, platoons, companies, regiments, squads..).