Fair Internet traffic integration: network flow models and analysis

Peter Key
Laurent Massoulié
Alan Bain
Frank Kelly

Annales des Télécommunications 59 (2004) 1338-1352.


We use flow-level models to study the integration of two types of Internet traffic, elastic file transfers and streaming traffic. Previous studies have concentrated on just one type of traffic, such as the flow level models of Internet congestion control, where network capacity is dynamically shared between elastic file transfers, with a randomly varying number of such flows. We consider the addition of streaming traffic in two cases, under a fairness assumption that includes TCP-friendliness as a special case, and under certain admission control schemes. We establish sufficient conditions for stability, using a fluid model of the system. We also assess the impact of each traffic type on the other: file transfers are seen by streaming traffic as reducing the available capacity, whereas for file transfers the presence of streaming traffic amounts to replacing sharp capacity constraints by relaxed constraints. Simulation results suggest that the integration of streaming traffic and file transfers has a stabilizing effect on the variability of the number of flows present in the system.

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An earlier version of this paper appeared as A network flow model for mixtures of file transfers and streaming traffic in the Proceedings of the 18th International Teletraffic Congress, Berlin.