Proportional Differentiated Services: Delay Differentiation and Packet Scheduling
Internet applications and users have very diverse service expectations, making the current same-service-to-all model inadequate and limiting. In the relative differentiated services approach, the network traffic is grouped in a small number of service classes which are ordered based on their packet forwarding quality, in terms of per-hop metrics for the queueing delays and packet losses. The users and applications, in this context, can adaptively choose the class that best meets their quality and pricing constraints, based on the assurance that higher classes will be better, or at least no worse, than lower classes. In this work, we propose the proportional differentiation model as a way to refine and quantify this basic premise of relative differentiated services. The proportional differentiation model aims to provide the network operator with the `tuning knobs' for adjusting the quality spacing between classes, independent of the class loads; this cannot be achieved with other relative differentiation models, such as strict prioritization or capacity differentiation. We apply the proportional model on queueing-delay differentiation only, leaving the problem of coupled delay and loss differentiation for future work. We discuss the dynamics of the proportional delay differentiation model and state the conditions under which it is feasible. Then, we identify and evaluate (using simulations) two packet schedulers that approximate the proportional differentiation model in heavy-load conditions, even in short timescales. Finally, we demonstrate that such per-hop and class-based mechanisms can provide consistent end-to-end differentiation to individual flows from different classes, independently of the network path and flow characteristics.
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The referenced paper appears in Computer Communication Review, a publication of ACM SIGCOMM, volume 29, number 4, October 1999.
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