Using multicast delivery to multiple receivers reduces the aggregate bandwidth required from the network compared to using unicast delivery to each receiver. However multicast is not yet widely deployed in the Internet. One reason is the lack of incentive to use multicast delivery. To encourage the use of multicast delivery, we define a new bandwidth allocation policy, called LogRD, taking into account the number of downstream receivers. This policy gives more bandwidth to a multicast flow as compared to a unicast flow that shares the same bottleneck, however without starving the unicast flows. The LogRD policy provides also an answer to the question on how to treat a multicast flow compared to a unicast flow sharing the same bottleneck. We investigate three bandwidth allocation policies for multicast flows and evaluate their impact on both receiver satisfaction and fairness using a simple analytical study and a comprehensive set of simulations. The policy that allocates the available bandwidth as a logarithmic function of the number of receivers downstream of the bottleneck achieves the best trade-off between receiver satisfaction and fairness.
Bandwidth allocation policies for unicast and multicast flows
Research report RR-00-054, extended version of the article published in IEEE/ACM Transactions on networking
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