Dynamic buffer sizing and pacing as enablers of 5G low-latency services

Irazabal, Mikel; Lopez-Aguilera, Elena; Demirkol, Ilker; Nikaein, Navid
IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, 17 August 2020

3GPP standards organization is performing an impressive effort trying to reach sub-millisecond latencies for 5G. However, such efforts may become fruitless if exogenously generated delays at transport layer are not considered. Nowadays, Radio Access Networks (RANs) are deployed with large buffers to achieve full utilization and avoid squandering wireless resources. Unfortunately, and since the data path’s bottleneck resides on the radio link, RAN’s buffers are bloated by TCP’s congestion control algorithm. Thus, a flow with low-latency requirements that encounters a bloated buffer, suffers from inevitable large sojourn times associated with the buffer depletion time, severely downgrading its Quality of Service (QoS). This paper presents different solutions for efficiently multiplexing distinct traffic patterns that share buffers on the 5G stack. Bufferbloat is extensively studied within the actual 5G QoS scenario, which presents multiple challenges inherited from the dynamic radio link nature and the presence of multiple queues at different entities. We propose and extensively emulate different algorithms in order to avoid the exogenous delay caused by the bufferbloat phenomena. We use real cellular network traces with realistic delay-sensitive and background traffic patterns in different scenarios. The outcome presents valuable insights in the algorithms that will enable low-latency services to be delivered through the 5G network stack satisfying restrictive envisioned constraints.

Systèmes de Communication
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