Date: 17 Feb 2003

Traffic Sensitive Active Queue Management for Improved Multimedia Streaming

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Abstract

The Internet, which has traditionally supported throughputsensitive applications such as email and file transfer, is increasingly supporting delay-sensitive multimedia applications such as interactive audio. These delay-sensitive applications would often rather sacrifice some throughput for lower delay. Unfortunately, the current Internet does not offer choices in the amount of delay or throughput an application receives, but instead provides monolithic best-effort service to all applications. This paper proposes and evaluates a new Active Queue Management (AQM) technique that employs source hints to provide service at network routers that is sensitive to the Quality of Service (QoS) expectations for a variety of applications. Applications indicate their delay or throughput sensitivity via a delay hint in their outgoing packets. The router, which we call RED-Boston, uses the delay hints to dynamically adjust the router to yield better delay performance for delay-sensitive applications and better throughput for throughput-sensitive applications. Using a new QoS metric, our simulations demonstrate that RED-Boston yields higher QoS than an adaptive version of RED for both throughputsensitive flows and delay-sensitive flows. RED-Boston operates equally well in all trafic scenarios and fits the current best-effort Internet environment without requiring trafic monitoring.