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Analysis of Feedback-Oriented Congestion Control Mechanisms for ABR Services Michael Ritter

Institute of Computer Science, University of Wurzburg Am Hubland, 97074 Wurzburg, Germany Tel.: +49 931 888 5505, Fax: +49 931 888 4601 e-mail: ritter@informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de

Abstract
In future ATM networks, the support of the ABR service category is a key feature to allow an economical transmission of applications with vague requirements for throughput and delay. To provide this capability, feedback information about the current network congestion status is conveyed from the network elements to the end systems in order to dynamically adapt the transmission rates of the ABR sources to changing network conditions. The performance of ow control mechanisms for the ABR service category strongly depends on the choice of the control parameters and the congestion detection scheme used by the network elements. In this paper we summarize a numerical approach to describe the dynamical evolution of the transmission rate of the ABR sources and the resulting bu er content in a congested network element. Based on this approach, simple and accurate formulae to estimate the maximum number of cells bu ered in a network element are derived for three easy-to-implement congestion detection schemes. Furthermore, we study the system performance if congestion occurs on the return path of the connection.

1 Introduction to ABR ow control


Recent advances in the development of ATM networks led to the de nition of the Available Bit Rate (ABR) service category 2]. Its primary goal is the economical support of applications with vague requirements for throughput and delay. The idea behind the ABR service is to convey feedback information about the network congestion status from the network elements to the end systems in order to dynamically adapt the cell emission process of the ABR sources to the current load of the network. By means of such a policy, network congestion is controlled or avoided and the available bandwidth is shared economically among the active ABR connections. Feedback schemes use a closed-loop control mechanism to adapt the cell emission process at the source. Each virtual connection must have an independent control loop since

each connection may follow a di erent path through the network. For ATM networks, two classes of feedback schemes have been proposed: credit-based and rate-based. The credit-based approach is a link-by-link window ow control 19]. A credit balance is maintained at the sending end of the link where each unit of credit represents one empty cell bu er at the receiving end. As a cell is transmitted by the sending end, the credit balance for this connection is decremented. As cells are removed from the bu er at the receiving end, credit is returned upstream. When a connection runs out of credit on a particular link, the transmission of cells must be stopped. Rate-based control schemes use feedback information from the network elements to control the rate at which each source emits cells into the network. Three types of ratebased schemes have been proposed: Forward Explicit Congestion Noti cation (FECN) 30], Backward Explicit Congestion Noti cation (BECN) 22] and Explicit Rate (ER) control. FECN is an end-to-end scheme in which most of the control complexity resides in the end systems. When a network element becomes congested on a particular path, it marks a bit in the header of all cells on that path to indicate congestion. The Destination End System (DES) monitors the congestion status and sends congestion noti cation cells in the reverse direction to inform the source. The Sending End System (SES) uses this feedback to adapt its cell transmission rate. In BECN congestion information is returned directly from the point of congestion back to the source. BECN requires more hardware in the network elements to insert cells indicating congestion into the return path, but it is capable of reacting to congestion faster than FECN. With ER control, network elements periodically determine at what rate each source should submit cells into the network and send messages to each source informing them of their relevant rate. This type of control requires a considerable amount of software in the network elements in order to permanently compute an ER for each active connection, but congestion is controlled more e ciently than with the rst two schemes. In the end of 1994, the rate-based approach was adopted by the ATM Forum for controlling the cell ow of connections belonging to the ABR service category. The mechanism developed 3] combines elements of all three rate-based schemes discussed above. The distinguishing feature of ABR sources is their ability to submit cells into the network at a variable rate, the Allowed Cell Rate (ACR). This rate is controlled by the return of Resource Management (RM) cells, which are sent periodically by the SES after each submission of Nrm data cells and are looped back by the DES. As the RM cells travel through the network, the switches provide information about their current congestion status by modifying the content of these cells. When an RM cell arrives back at the SES, the ACR is reset based on the information carried by the cell. If congestion is indicated, the SES must decrease its ACR, otherwise it may increase its ACR. A network scenario with one active ABR connection is presented in Figure 1.
SES DES

data cell

RM cell

Figure 1: Example scenario for the ABR service framework

Due to the signaling of negative and positive feedback information during periods where network elements on the transmission path detect or not detect congestion, respectively, the ACR of the ABR sources typically oscillates, cf. Figure 2(a). Consequently, the number of cells queued in a congested network element also shows a dynamical behavior, which results from the varying arrival rate of cells belonging to ABR connections, cf. Figure 2(b).

allowed cell rate

time (a) Transmission rate

queue length

time (b) Queue length

Figure 2: Evolution of the ACR and of the queue length in a congested network element In communication systems, the performance of feedback mechanisms is assessed according to a number of characteristics. These are, e.g., the frequency and range of the oscillations which determine the network stability, the speed of reaction to changes in the system environment, as well as the e ciency in throughput and the fairness in sharing the available bandwidth among the active connections. Therefore, a thorough investigation of the feedback control mechanism is important to nd adequate values for the control parameters. Rate-based feedback controls for communication networks have been analyzed in a large number of publications. Key issues are, e.g., the stability and the convergence of the control mechanism 1, 14, 16, 18], fairness properties 6, 20], and the modeling of the dynamical system behavior during steady-state 5, 23] and during transient phases 9, 12, 29]. Furthermore, the bu er requirement in a bottleneck switch is studied in 25, 26, 30] and the statistical gain, which is obtained by implementing a reactive ow control, is investigated in 17, 31]. Surveys on feedback control in communication networks are, e.g., 13, 21]. More theoretic approaches for the performance evaluation of rate-based ow control mechanisms are presented in 4, 11, 28]. The authors of these papers study queueing models where the access is controlled by the regulation of the input rate. Performance measures addressed are the queueing delay and the loss probability. In this paper we show how di erential equations are used to model the system dynamics occurring with the ABR ow control mechanism. The cell ow of the ABR sources is therefore modeled as a uid and the transmission capacity available for the ABR services is assumed to be xed. With this approach, di erent feedback and congestion detection schemes can be considered easily. Furthermore, we derive formulae to compute important performance measures of the ow control schemes. The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 discusses three easy-to-implement schemes

for detecting congestion in a network element. A basic tra c model and the analytical approach to describe the dynamical system behavior is outlined in Section 3. A simple and accurate estimation for the maximum bu er content, which is used to compare the performance of the congestion detection schemes, is presented. Section 4 extends these results to deal with a more complex tra c model, which allows to investigate the system behavior if congestion occurs on the return path. The paper concludes with a brief summary in Section 5.

2 Congestion detection schemes


With the ABR ow control mechanism, a network element signals congestion by modifying the content of data or RM cells for those connections for which it constitutes a bottleneck. This information is used by the SESs to adapt their transmission rates accordingly. The objective of using this ow control mechanism is, on the one hand, the avoidance of bu er over ow which leads to cell losses and therefore to Quality of Service (QoS) impairments. On the other hand, bu er under ow should be avoided, which causes an ine cient utilization of the network resources. To limit the number of cells queued in a switch bu er, appropriate congestion detection schemes must be implemented in ATM switches. In the following, we describe three detection schemes identi ed in 26]. They are based on di erent load measures, such as the cell arrival rate and the growth of the bu er content, and result in di erent system performances. With the rst scheme, which is very commonly considered, the occurrence of congestion is detected by monitoring the queue length in the switch bu er. When the queue length exceeds an upper threshold QH , congestion is detected, if it subsides to a lower threshold QL, congestion is regarded as being terminated. By using two thresholds instead of one the oscillations are reduced and therefore the network state is stabilized. The advantage of the queue-based detection scheme is its easy implementation since the monitoring of the queue length can be realized by a single counter. A more sophisticated scheme additionally considers the relevant ACR of the active ABR connections for congestion detection. In 26], the following measure Qv for the ACR virtual queue length was suggested, where again two thresholds are used to detect and release congestion, respectively: P (1) Qv = Q ACR :
ACR

2.1 Queue-based detection scheme

2.2 Rate-based detection scheme

CF

The quantity Q denotes the absolute queue length in the switch bu er and CF is the capacity available for the ABR connections. With this scheme, the upper threshold is exceeded more quickly if the aggregate arrival rate is high, even when there are queued less than QH cells in the bu er. This behavior compensates the fact that the number

of cells arriving at the switch during the feedback delay is the larger the higher the ACRs are. The same holds in an opposite manner for the lower threshold QL. Rate-based detection schemes are studied, e.g., in 7] and 8] for detecting overload in trunk groups and SPC telephone exchanges respectively. In 10], a hybrid scheme similar to the one described above was found to perform best for controlling overload in FDDI/B-ISDN gateways. The third congestion detection scheme suggested in 26] is based on the observation that it is more likely that a threshold will be approached when the queue length in the switch bu er increases or decreases fast than if it changes slowly. Therefore, the virtual queue length QvQ is used to detect congestion, where the growth of the queue d length is taken into consideration:
Qv dQ QH

2.3 Growth-based detection scheme

= Q dQ=dt + 1 C
F

(2)

Again, congestion is detected and released according to the queue length thresholds and QL . The in uence of the growth, which a ects the number of cells to be queued during the feedback delay, is compensated by considering the virtual queue length Qv . dQ

3 Basic tra c model


To investigate the performance of the ABR ow control mechanism, the dynamical system evolution, which occurs due to the delay between signaling and receiving congestion information, can be modeled using delay di erential equations. This approach is outlined in the rst part of this section. In the second part, we derive simple and accurate estimations for the minimum and maximum bu er content. Using these estimations, the congestion detection schemes presented in Section 2 are compared with respect to their bu er requirement and their e ciency in throughput. We consider the network model depicted in Figure 3. A number Nvc of SESs communicate with a DES via a single ATM switch, which constitutes a bottleneck of capacity CF in forward direction. On the return path, no congestion occurs. Non-congested switches along the transmission path are omitted in our model since they do not in uence the system in a major way.
SES SES SES
1 3 2

CF QH QL

DES

Figure 3: Network model with a single bottleneck in forward direction

Each SES has the same control parameter set and operates in a saturated condition, i.e. it always submits cells with the relevant ACR into the network. Thus, the sources are in phase during their whole lifetime. The propagation delay between the SES and the ATM switch is denoted by 1 and that between the switch and the DES by 2 . In the backward direction, a total propagation delay of 3 = 1 + 2 is assumed, resulting in a Round Trip Time (RTT) equal to = 2 ( 1 + 2 ). A similar model is considered in almost all publications on performance evaluation of feedback control mechanisms. The ow control mechanism developed by the ATM Forum 3] supports two di erent ways of signaling congestion and thus of adjusting the ACR. In the simple binary mode, the Explicit Forward Congestion Indication (EFCI) bit located in the header of data cells is set by the switches to indicate congestion for a particular connection. According to this information, the DES modi es the Congestion Indication (CI) bit of backward RM cells. At the return of an RM cell carrying positive feedback, i.e. no congestion was detected by the switches, the SES may increase its ACR by a xed amount RIF PCR, but never exceeding a Peak Cell Rate (PCR). The Rate Increase Factor (RIF) and the PCR are negotiated at connection setup. If the CI bit is set, i.e. congestion was detected, the ACR is decreased by an amount RDF ACR relative to its current value, but never below a Minimum Cell Rate (MCR). The speed of the reduction, which is determined by the Rate Decrease Factor (RDF), and the MCR are also negotiated at connection setup. In the more sophisticated Explicit Rate (ER) mode, a switch directly signals the rate it can support for a connection in the ER eld of the RM cells belonging to this connection. This, however, requires that the switch is able to compute a fair bandwidth share for each connection. At the return of an RM cell, the ACR is reduced to the ER value if it is smaller than the current ACR, but never below the MCR. Otherwise it is increased in the same manner as described above, but never exceeding the ER. A more detailed description of the behavior of the SES and the DES can be found in the Tra c Management Speci cation of the ATM Forum 3]. In the following, we consider both EFCI-based and ER-based switches. For the ERbased switches we assume that during congested periods a constant ER is signaled and that the ER is equal to the PCR during non-congested periods. By modeling the cell ow of the ABR sources as a uid, the evolution of the ACR and of the queue length can be described using di erential equations 5, 6, 12, 23, 29]. Therefore, a control cycle consisting of a congested period followed by a non-congested period is divided into a number of phases which are considered separately. The phases are di erentiated by the current congestion status of the switch and by the fact whether the bu er is empty or not. Figure 4 shows the typical evolution of the ACR and of the bu er content in a bottleneck switch for the EFCI-based and the ER-based switch. We start with the modeling for EFCI-based switches, cf. Figure 4(a). If the switch is in the non-congested state, the ACR of each SES is increased by RIF PCR at each return of a backward RM cell, until the PCR is attained. In case of a non-empty bu er as in phase 1, these arrivals occur with a constant rate of CF = (Nvc Nrm). The increase of the ACR during this phase is thus expressed by the di erential equation dACR1 (t) (3) = RIF PCR CF ;
dt Nvc Nrm

3.1 Modeling of the system dynamics

ACR(t)/Q(t)

2
Q t

ACR(t)/Q(t)

FS

()

ACR(t)
Q t

QH QL

QH

ACR(t) (a) EFCI-based switch time

QL

() time

(b) ER-based switch

Figure 4: System evolution during a control cycle which is solved by ACR1 (t) = min PCR; ACR1 (0) + RIF PCR CF t N N
vc rm
:

(4)

The evolution of the queue length during phase 1 is described by


Q1 (t)

= Q1(0) +

Zt

Note that we consider the ACR which is relevant directly at the switch instead of the current ACR of the sources. This simpli es the description and leads to the same results. After the switch detects the occurrence of congestion, it lasts a feedback time of until the ACR relevant at the switch starts to decrease. During phase 2, which starts at this time instant, the system evolution is modeled as follows. The ACR is now decreased by RDF ACR at the return of a backward RM cell, until the MCR is attained. The arrival rate of backward RM cells is equal to CF = (Nvc Nrm ) since the switch is still fully utilized. This results in the di erential equation dACR2 (t) (6) = ?ACR (t) RDF CF ;
dt
2

= Q1(0) + (Nvc ACR1 (0) ? CF ) t + RIF 2PCR CF t2 : N


rm

x=0

(Nvc ACR1 (x) ? CF ) dx (5)

Nvc Nrm

which has the solution RDF ACR2 (t) = max MCR; ACR2 (0) exp ? N NCF t vc rm
:

(7)

Analogously to equation (5), the evolution of the queue length during this phase is expressed by Q2 (t) = Q2 (0) ? CF t + RDF CF t N N : (8) Nvc ACR2 (0) vc rm 1 ? exp ? RDF CF Nvc Nrm After phase 2, i.e. when congestion is released and the ACRs start to increase again, the system evolution is modeled as described for phase 1. Since the sum of the ACRs at the end of phase 2 is lower than the bottleneck rate CF , the bu er may become empty during the increase phase. If this is the case, the evolution according to phase 1 is interrupted by a period denoted by phase 3, where the system dynamics are modeled in the following way. Due to the empty bu er, the return rate of backward RM cells at time t depends on the ACR of the SES time units before instead of the bottleneck capacity CF . Thus, we obtain the di erential equation dACR3 (t) (9) = ACR (t ? ) RIF PCR ;
dt
3

Nrm

which is solved by ACR3 (t) = min fPCR; ACR3 (0) exp ( t)g ; (10) where is the root of = (RIF PCR = Nrm) exp(? ). The evolution of the queue length during phase 3 is given by 1 exp ( t) ? 1 : (11) Q3 (t) = Q3 (0) ? CF t + Nvc ACR3 (0) Hence, a control cycle observed with the EFCI-based switches consists of two or four phases, respectively (cf. Figure 4(a)). By applying the equations (4) to (11) alternatingly, the dynamical evolution of the ACR and the queue length in the switch bu er can be computed. The system dynamics for the ER-based switches are similar to those for EFCI-based switches. The only di erence is the immediate reduction of the ACR to the ER signaled in the RM cells at the beginning of phase FS, which substitutes phase 2. This results in a constant ACR and a linear decrease of the queue length during this phase, cf. Figure 4(b). The other phases are modeled as described for the EFCI-based switches. Two of the most interesting performance measures of feedback-oriented control mechanisms are the maximum throughput and the size of the switch bu er which must be provided to avoid cell losses. These measures can be obtained using the di erential equation approach presented above. The computation, however, is awkward and requires a considerable amount of time. In this subsection, we outline the approach presented in 26], which allows to estimate the minimum and the maximum queue length during steady-state using simple formulae. The approach can be generalized to

3.2 Estimation of the minimum and maximum queue length

investigate transient phases 25], which occur, e.g., after the decrease of the bandwidth available for ABR services due to the establishment of a new real-time connection. Afterwards, we compare the performance of the three congestion detection schemes discussed in Section 2. First, we focus on the maximum ACR which is attained at the end of phase 1, cf. Figure 4. If the aggregate ACR of all ABR connections becomes larger than the available bandwidth CF , the queue length reaches its minimum value Qmin and starts to increase again. The time tQH which passes from this instant on until congestion is detected can be computed using the results of Section 3.1. With the queue-based scheme, congestion is detected when the absolute queue length exceeds the upper threshold QH . From equation (5) we obtain
s
tQH

2 Nrm (QH ? Qmin) RIF PCR CF

(12)

and clearly, the absolute queue length at congestion detection is Q? = QH . H The rate-based and the growth-based detection scheme can be treated together since the virtual queue lengths are identical in case of our analysis, i.e. Qv = QvQ 26]. d ACR With both schemes, the occurrence of congestion is realized if the virtual queue length exceeds the upper threshold QH . Thus, using the equations (1) and (5), the time interval tQH is determined by
QH

1 + RIF PCR tQH Nrm

Qmin +

RIF PCR CF t2 QH 2 Nrm

(13)

The absolute queue length at congestion detection is given by Q? = Q1( tQH ). H Since the feedback time until the aggregate ACR starts to decrease at the switch is given by the RTT , the total amount of time until the ACR stops to increase is given by tACRmax = tQH + . The ACR attained at maximum during steady-state is therefore computed by ACR = min PCR; CF 1 + RIF PCR t ; (14)
max

Nvc

Nrm

ACRmax

cf. equation (4). An upper bound for the maximum queue length is obtained by adding the queue length Q? at the time instant when congestion is detected, the number of cells queued during H the feedback delay, and the number of cells queued until the aggregate ACR falls below the available bandwidth LCR. If we assume that during the feedback delay the SESs have an ACR equal to ACRmax , the maximum queue length Qmax is upper bounded by Qmax Q? + H + NvcC Nrm
F
Nvc Nrm Nvc

ACRmax ? CF +

(15)

RDF

ACR log N CF + Nvc C max ? 1 vc ACRmax F

for the EFCI-based switches. For the ER-based switches, equation (15) reduces to
Qmax Q? + H

+ NvcC Nrm
F

Nvc

ACRmax ? CF

(16)

since the ACR is immediately reduced to a rate smaller than the bottleneck rate CF . Equations (15) and (16) allow to compute an upper bound for the maximum queue length in dependence of the minimum queue length Qmin. In the following, a lower bound for the minimum queue length is derived, which depends on the maximum queue length Qmax. By evaluating these expressions iteratively, we obtain estimates for the minimum and the maximum queue length during steady-state. To compute the lower bound Qmin, we proceed in the same way as for the maximum queue length. If the aggregate ACR of the ABR connections falls below the available bandwidth CF , the queue length reaches its maximum value Qmax and starts to decrease. For the queue-based detection scheme, the time tQL , which passes until congestion is released, is determined by QL = Q2( tQL ). Since the system evolution during phase 2 is di erent for the signaling modes EFCI-based and ER-based, the corresponding function Q2 (t) has to be considered. The absolute queue length at this time instant is equal to Q? = QL. L For the rate-based and the growth-based detection scheme we also have to consider both signaling modes separately. In case of EFCI-based switches, the time interval tQL is computed using C RDF (17) t Q = exp ? F
L
Nvc Nrm

QL

C 1 ? exp ? NF RDF tQL ; RDF vc Nrm and for the ER-based switches we obtain the time until congestion is released by QL CF ? Qmax Nvc ER tQL = : (18) Nvc ER (Nvc ER ? CF ) For both signaling modes the absolute queue length at congestion release is given by Q? = Q2 ( tQL ). L Due to the feedback delay , the total amount of time until the ACR stops to decrease at the switch is equal to tACRmin = tQL + . Therefore, the lowest ACR attained during steady-state is (19) ACR = max MCR; CF exp ? CF RDF t Qmax ? CF tQL + Nvc Nrm
min

Nvc

Nvc Nrm

ACRmin

in case of the EFCI-based switches, cf. equation (7). For the ER-based switches, ACRmin = ER. Finally, we arrive at an estimation for the minimum queue length by adding the queue length Q? at the time instant when congestion is released, the decrease of the queue L length during the feedback delay, and the decrease until the aggregate ACR exceeds

the available bandwidth CF . Assuming that the ACR of the SESs is equal to ACRmin during the feedback delay, the minimum queue length is lower bounded by Qmin max f0; Q? + L + NvcC Nrm F
Nrm (CF Nvc

ACRmin ? CF ?
)
:

(20)

2 RIF PCR CF

? Nvc ACRmin )2

In this section, we present numerical results to compare the performance of the three congestion detection schemes and illustrate the accuracy of our analytical approach. First, the in uence of the RTT on the system performance is investigated. We consider a single connection (Nvc = 1) with the following control parameter set: PCR = 353 cells/ms (150 Mbps), MCR = 0 cells/ms (0 Mbps), RIF = 1=256, RDF = 1=16 and the RM cell frequency is equal to Nrm = 32. Congestion is detected and released according to the thresholds QH = 500 cells and QL = 250 cells, and the RTT is set to = 0:01 ms (2 km). The bandwidth available for the ABR connection is equal to CF = 118 cells/ms (50 Mbps), i.e. 33.3% of the link capacity. For the growth-based detection scheme, the estimation of the growth rate dQ=dt is updated every 512 cells transmitted by the switch. Figure 5 shows the results for the minimum and maximum queue length for a RTT ranging from 0.01 ms to 5 ms, which corresponds to distances from 2 km to 1000 km. The simulation results are shown as dots and those obtained by our analytical approach are plotted as lines.
1200 1200

3.3 Comparison of the congestion detection schemes

/ Qmax cells]

/ Qmax cells]

QvQ d Q

Qv ACR

800

Qmin

QvQ d Q

round-trip time ms] (a) EFCI-based switch

Qmin

Qv ACR

400

400 0

800

round-trip time ms] (b) ER-based switch

Figure 5: Qmin and Qmax as functions of the round-trip time For each of the three schemes and for both switch types the lower bounds for the minimum queue length and the upper bounds for the maximum queue length agree well with the simulation results. If the RTT is large, we slightly over- and underestimate the

simulation results, respectively. The reason is the assumption that the SES transmits cells with ACRmax and ACRmin, respectively, during the feedback delay. In case of the ER-based switch, the lower bound is also close for large values of RTT, which is due to the constant ACR during congested periods. Looking at the performance of the three congestion detection schemes, the schemes which consider a virtual queue length (Qv and Qv ) perform better than the simple ACR dQ queue-based scheme (Q). Their performance is approximately the same and the bu er size, which must be provided to avoid cell losses, can be reduced by approximately 30 %. Furthermore, in case of the EFCI-based switch the throughput is increased for RTTs shorter than 1 ms, since the switch bu er does not become empty. The almost linear increase of the maximum queue length and decrease of the minimum queue length with the RTT is due to the increasing feedback delay, which prolongs the time until the SES reacts to congestion detection and release, respectively. Figure 6 shows the in uence of the number Nvc of active ABR connections on the performance of the detection schemes using the same parameter set.
1000 2000 3000 4000 5000

/ Qmax cells]

/ Qmax cells]

1500

Qv ACR Qv dQ

2000

Qv ACR Qv dQ Q

Qmin

number of connections Nvc (a) EFCI-based switch

10

20

30

40

50

Qmin

500 0

1000

number of connections Nvc (b) ER-based switch

10

20

30

40

50

Figure 6: Qmin and Qmax as functions of the number of connections Nvc For all three detection schemes, the lower bounds for the minimum queue length and the upper bounds for the maximum queue length derived analytically again agree well with the simulation results. Looking at the simulation results, we observe a nonmonotonic evolution of the minimum and maximum queue length with the number of active connections. The reason is an unsynchronized evolution of the ACRs of the Nvc connections, which often leads to a considerable unfairness regarding the bandwidth share. This behavior is not modeled in our numerical approach since we assume that the ACRs of the active ABR connections are always synchronized. As already observed in 25], the bu er size required to avoid cell losses increases almost linearly with the number of active ABR connections. Furthermore, the minimum queue length shows a slight decrease in case of the ER-based switches, cf. Figure 6(b). The savings in bu er space which obtained with the rate-based and the growth-based scheme are typically in the area of 25 %.

4 Extended tra c model: Congestion in forward and in backward direction


The basic model presented in Section 3 allows to investigate the di erent signaling modes incorporated in the ABR service speci cation of the ATM Forum and to compare the performance of di erent schemes for detecting congestion in a network element. Since the ABR feedback mechanism uses a closed control loop, the system performance is not only in uenced by congested network elements in the forward direction of the connection, but also by congestion occurring on the return path. To study the system behavior in case of congestion in backward direction, we consider the extended tra c model depicted in Figure 7.
4

SES SES SES


1

CB

3 2

CF QH QL

DES

Figure 7: Network model with a bottleneck in forward and in backward direction Again, a number Nvc of SESs communicate with a DES via a single ATM switch, which constitutes a bottleneck of capacity CF in forward direction. On the return path, the capacity for transmitting backward RM cells is now limited by CB . If the arrival rate of the RM cells is higher, the cells are queued. All SESs have the same control parameter set and operate in a saturated condition. The propagation delays between the bottlenecks and the end systems are denoted by 1 to 4 , which results in a propagation delay on the control loop equal to = 1 + : : : + 4 . Contrary to the model presented in Section 3, the feedback delay does now depend on the propagation delay and additionally on the queueing delay observed in the backward queue. Since the RM cell frequency on the return path is limited by the capacity CF available for the ABR connections, the capacity CB of the bottleneck on the return path must be smaller than CF = Nrm to a ect the system performance. This means, however, that the queue in forward direction must become empty during a control cycle. Otherwise the system would not be stable since the rate of the RM cells arriving at the bootleneck on the return path would always be higher then CB . In the remainder of this section we outline how di erential equations can be used to model the dynamical behavior of this system. We have to consider three quantities to describe the system state of our network model: the ACR relevant at the bottleneck in forward direction, the queue length QF in the bu er of bottleneck switch in forward direction and the queue length QB in the bottleneck on the return path. In the following, we outline the modeling of the dynamical system behavior for EFCI-based switches. The system dynamics in case of ER-based

4.1 Modeling of the dynamical system behavior

switches are similar in the same sense as described in Section 3. Figure 8 shows the typical evolution of the three system state variables.
ACR(t)/QF=B (t)
1
QF t

()
QB t

QH QL

()

ACR(t)

Figure 8: System evolution during a control cycle

time

As long as the RM cells carry positive feedback information and the backward queue is not empty (phase 1), the ACR is increased by RIF PCR at each return of a backward RM cell. Since the backward switch is fully utilized, these arrivals occur with a constant rate of CB = Nvc. Similar to phase 1 in Section 3, the evolution of the ACR is modeled by (21) ACR (t) = min PCR; ACR (0) + RIF PCR CB t :
1 1

Nvc

When congestion is detected, the feedback delay plus the delay in the backward queue observed 2 + 3 time units after congestion detection passes until the ACR starts to decrease. From this time instant on (phase 2), the evolution of the ACR is modeled similar to phase 2 in Section 3: : (22) ACR (t) = max MCR; ACR (0) exp ? RDF CB t
2 2

Nvc

After congestion release, it lasts the feedback delay plus the queueing delay in the backward switch observed 2 + 3 time units after congestion release until the ACR starts to increase again at the bottleneck in forward direction. Since the backward queue is still fully utilized, the increase of the ACR is modeled as in phase 1, cf. equation (21). If the backward queue becomes empty, as shown in Figure 8, the increase according to phase 1 is interrupted by a period denoted by phase 3. Since the forward queue is also empty during this period, the evolution of the ACR is modeled by ACR3 (t) = min fPCR; ACR3 (0) exp ( t)g ; with the same parameter as de ned for equation (10). (23)

The evolution of the queue length in the bu er of the bottleneck in forward direction is determined in the same way as described in Section 3, i.e.
QF (t)

= QF (0) +

Zt
x=0

(Nvc ACRi (x) ? CF ) dx :

(24)

To compute the evolution of the backward queue we have to distinguish two cases. If the forward queue is fully utilized, QB (t) is determined by
QB (t) C = QB (0) + N F ? CB t ; rm

(25)

otherwise by
QB (t)

= QB (0) +

Zt
x=0

Nvc ACRi (t ? 2 ? 3 ) ? CB Nrm

dx :

(26)

By applying these equations alternatingly, the evolution of the ACR and of the queue length in the bu ers can be derived. The analytical approach presented above allows to investigate how the system performance is a ected by congestion occurring on the return path. Contrary to the basic model presented in Section 3, bounds for the minimum and maximum queue length in the bu er of the bottlenecks can not be derived using simple formulae. The reason is the queueing of feedback information in the bu er of the backward bottleneck, which additionally delays the detection of congestion by the SES. However, we obtain estimates for these values using the analytical description of the system evolution presented above. Since, for realistic network scenarios, the bu ers in forward and backward direction become empty, we focus on the maximum queue length. Figure 9 shows the maximum queue lengths QFmax and QBmax as a function of the bottleneck capacity CB for the parameter set used in Section 3.3. Comparing results from analysis and simulation, we observe a reasonable accuracy of our analytical approach. If the capacity CB decreases, both maximum queue length increase nearly exponentially. The reason is the queueing of feedback information in the backward bottleneck, which prolongs the time until the relevant congestion information is received by the SESs. Due to this dependency and the fact that the bu ers become empty for a long period, which indicates a low throughput, a considerable performance degradation occurs if the return path is heavily congested.

4.2 Estimation of the maximum queue length

5 Summary and Outlook


In this paper, we have shown how di erential equations can be applied to model the dynamical system behavior of the feedback-oriented control mechanism for the ABR

30000

20000

analysis simulation

1000

analysis simulation

cells]

cells]

800 600 400

QFmax 10000

QBmax

0.0

bottleneck capacity CF =Nrm ] (a) Bottleneck in forward direction

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

200

0.0

bottleneck capacity CF =Nrm ] (b) Bottleneck on the return path

0.2

0.4

0.6

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1.0

Figure 9: In uence of the bottleneck capacity on the return path service category. We considered two network models. A basic model with a single bottleneck in forward direction of the connection and an extended model where congestion additionally occurs on the return path. To describe the system dynamics, a control cycle, which consists of a congested period followed by a non-congested period, is divided into a number of phases for which the evolution of the system state is described di erently. The approach allows to model the dynamics for both signaling modes incorporated in the ABR service speci cation and the investigation of di erent schemes for detecting congestion in a network element. Based on this modeling technique, we derived simple formulae to estimate the minimum and maximum queue length in a switch bu er, which give information about the throughput achievable and the bu er size required to avoid cell losses. The formulae, which can be formulated for the steady state and for transient phases, allow an easy comparison of the performance of di erent schemes for signaling and detecting congestion. Furthermore, the in uence of congestion on the return path can be studied. Numerical results have shown that the system evolution is well approximated by the di erential equation approach and that the estimates for the minimum and maximum queue length provide accurate results. Thus, dependencies on system parameters, such as the round trip time and the number of active ABR connections, can be studied without running time-consuming simulations. A drawback of the di erential equation approach is that it only allows to consider models with greedy sources and a xed capacity available for active ABR connections. To investigate the performance of the ABR ow control mechanism aiming at these points, other analytical methods have to be applied. A rst approach to investigate the e ect of bottleneck service rate variations on the performance of the ABR ow control mechanism is presented in 27].

Acknowledgments
The author would like to thank J. Hummer, H. Reinhard, and Prof. P. Tran-Gia for the stimulating discussions during the course of this work. Furthermore, the nancial support of the Research Center of the Deutsche Telekom AG is well appreciated.

References
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