ms to even minutes, thereby enabling network management to exercise realistic controls over them, even in a geographically widely dispersed ATM network. In contrast, current traffic controls that act on ATM cells at the UNI face formidable challenge from high bandwidth traffic where cell lifetimes may be extremely short, in the range of
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The Impact of Source Traffic Distribution on Quality of Service (QoS) in ATM Networks
Seshasayi PILLALAMARRI Sumit GHOSH
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications Vol.E87-B No.8 pp.2290-2307
Publication Date: 2004/08/01
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
high speed networking, quality of service, traffic management, traffic control, source traffic distribution, network performance, ATM network, peak cell rate, sustainable cell rate, burstiness, traffic models, high-level traffic parameters,
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A principal attraction of ATM networks, in both wired and wireless realizations, is that the key quality of service (QoS) parameters of every call, including end-to-end delay, jitter, and loss are guaranteed by the network when appropriate cell-level traffic controls are imposed at the user network interface (UNI) on a per call basis, utilizing the peak cell rate (PCR) and the sustainable cell rate (SCR) values for the multimedia--voice, video, and data, traffic sources. There are three practical difficulties with these guarantees. First, while PCR and SCR values are, in general, difficult to obtain for traffic sources, the typical user-provided parameter is a combination of the PCR, SCR, and the maximum burstiness over the entire duration of the traffic. Second, the difficulty in accurately defining PCR arises from the requirement that the smallest time interval must be specified over which the PCR is computed which, in the limit, will approach zero or the network's resolution of time. Third, the literature does not contain any reference to a scientific principle underlying these guarantees. Under these circumstances, the issue of providing QoS guarantees in the real world, through traffic controls applied on a per call basis, is rendered uncertain. This paper adopts a radically different, high level approach to the issue of QoS guarantees. It aims at uncovering through systematic experimentation a relationship, if any exists, between the key high level user traffic characteristics and the resulting QoS measures in a realistic operational environment. It may be observed that while each user is solely interested in the QoS of his/her own traffic, the network provider cares for two factors: (1) Maximize the link utilization in the network since links constitute a significant investment, and (2) ensure the QoS guarantees for every user traffic, thereby maintaining customer satisfaction. Based on the observations, this paper proposes a two-phase strategy. Under the first phase, the average "link utilization" computed over all the links in a network is maintained within a range, specified by the underlying network provider, through high level call admission control, i.e. by limiting the volume of the incident traffic on the network, at any time. The second phase is based on the hypothesis that the number of traffic sources, their nature--audio, video, or data, and the bandwidth distribution of the source traffic, admitted subject to a specific chosen value of "link utilization" in the network, will exert a unique influence on the cumulative delay distribution at the buffers of the representative nodes and, hence, on the QoS guarantees of each call. The underlying thinking is as follows. The cumulative buffer delay distribution, at any given node and at any time instant, will clearly reflect the cumulative effect of the traffic distributions of the multiple connections that are currently active on the input links. Any bounds imposed on the cumulative buffer delay distribution at the nodes of the network will also dominate the QoS bounds of each of the constituent user traffic. Thus, for each individual traffic source, the buffer delay distributions at the nodes of the network, obtained for different traffic distributions, may serve as its QoS measure. If the hypothesis is proven true, in essence, the number of traffic sources and their bandwidth distribution will serve asa practically realizable high level traffic control in providing realistic QoS guarantees for every call. To verify the correctness of the hypothesis, an experiment is designed that consists of a representative ATM network, traffic sources that are characterized through representative and realistic user-provided parameters, and a given set of input traffic volumes appropriate for a network provider approved link utilization measure. The key source traffic parameters include the number of sources that are incident on the network and the constituent links at any given time, the bandwidth requirement of the sources, and their nature. For each call, the constituent cells are generated stochastically, utilizing the typical user-provided parameter as an estimate of the bandwidth requirement. Extensive simulations reveal that, for a given link utilization level held uniform throughout the network, while the QoS metrics--end-to-end cell delay, jitter, and loss, are superior in the presence of many calls each with low bandwidth requirement, they are significantly worse when the network carries fewer calls of very high bandwidths. The findings demonstrate the feasibility of guaranteeing QoS for each and every call through high level traffic controls. As for practicality, call durations are relatively long, ranging from ms to even minutes, thereby enabling network management to exercise realistic controls over them, even in a geographically widely dispersed ATM network. In contrast, current traffic controls that act on ATM cells at the UNI face formidable challenge from high bandwidth traffic where cell lifetimes may be extremely short, in the range of µs. The findings also underscore two additional important contributions of this paper. First, the network provider may collect data on the high level user traffic characteristics, compute the corresponding average link utilization in the network, and measure the cumulative buffer delay distributions at the nodes, in an operational network. The provider may then determine, based on all relevant criteria, a range of input and system parameters over which the network may be permitted to operate, the intersection of all of which may yield a realistic network operating point (NOP). During subsequent operation of the network, the network provider may guide and maintain the network at a desired NOP by exercising control over the input and system parameters including link utilization, call admittance based on the requested bandwidth, etc. Second, the finding constitutes a vulnerability of ATM networks which a perpetrator may exploit to launch a performance attack.