Equilibrium in size-based scheduling systems

Sébastien Soudan 1, 2, * Pascale Vicat-Blanc Primet 1, 2 Dinil Mon Divakaran 1, 2 Eitan Altman 3
* Corresponding author
1 RESO - Protocols and softwares for very high-performance network
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique : UMR5668
Abstract : Size-based scheduling is advocated to improve response times of small flows. While researchers continue to explore different ways of giving preferential treatment to small flows without causing starvation to other flows, little focus has been paid to the study of stability of systems that deploy size-based scheduling mechanisms. The question on stability arises from the fact that, users of such a system can exploit the scheduling mechanism to their advantage and split large flows into multiple small flows. Consequently, a large flow in the disguise of small flows, may get the advantage aimed for small flows. As the number of misbehaving users can grow to a large number, an operator would like to learn about the system stability before deploying size-based scheduling mechanism, to ensure that it won't lead to an unstable system. In this paper, we analyse the criteria for the existence of equilibria and reveal the constraints that must be satisfied for the stability of equilibrium points. Our study exposes that, in a two-player game, where the operator strives for a stable system, and users of large flows behave to improve delay, size-based scheduling doesn't achieve the goal of improving response time of small flows.
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Sébastien Soudan, Pascale Vicat-Blanc Primet, Dinil Mon Divakaran, Eitan Altman. Equilibrium in size-based scheduling systems. 2009. ⟨ensl-00371202⟩

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