Backpressure-based control protocols: design and computational aspects
Congestion control in packet-based networks is often realized by feedback protocols ‚Äì in this paper we assess their performance under a back-pressure mechanism that has been proposed and standardized for Ethernet metropolitan networks. In such a mechanism the service rate of an upstream queue is reduced when the downstream queue is congested, in order to protect the downstream queue. We study a Markovian model that captures the essentials of the protocol, but at the same time allows for numerical analysis. We first derive explicit results for the stability condition of the model (which turns out to be rather nontrivial). Then we present rough (that is, logarithmic) estimates of the probability of buffer overflow in the second queue, which are subsequentially used when devising an efficient simulation procedure based on importance sampling. We conclude the paper by presenting a number of numerical results, and some general design guidelines.