Scheduling Combined Unicast and Multicast Traffic in WDM Networks
We study the performance of various strategies for scheduling a combined load of unicast and multicast traffic in a broadcast WDM network. The performance measure of interest is schedule length, which directly affects both aggregate network throughput and average packet delay. Three different scheduling strategies are presented, namely: separate scheduling of unicast and multicast traffic, treating multicast traffic as a number of unicast messages, and treating unicast traffic as multicasts of size one. The strategies are compared against each other using extensive simulation experiments in order to establish the regions of operation, in terms of a number of relevant system parameters, for which each strategy performs best. Our main conclusions are as follows. Multicast traffic can be treated as unicast traffic under very limited circumstances. On the other hand, treating unicast traffic as multicast traffic produces short schedules in most cases. Alternatively, scheduling and transmitting each traffic component separately is also a good choice.
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