Towards Scalable Network Delay Minimization

Sourav Medya, Petko Bogdanov, Ambuj Singh

Reduction of end-to-end network delays is an optimization task with applications in multiple domains. Low delays enable improved information flow in social networks, quick spread of ideas in collaboration networks, low travel times for vehicles on road networks and increased rate of packets in the case of communication networks. Delay reduction can be achieved by both improving the propagation capabilities of individual nodes and adding additional edges in the network. One of the main challenges in such design problems is that the effects of local changes are not independent, and as a consequence, there is a combinatorial search-space of possible improvements. Thus, minimizing the cumulative propagation delay requires novel scalable and data-driven approaches. In this paper, we consider the problem of network delay minimization via node upgrades. Although the problem is NP-hard, we show that probabilistic approximation for a restricted version can be obtained. We design scalable and high-quality techniques for the general setting based on sampling and targeted to different models of delay distribution. Our methods scale almost linearly with the graph size and consistently outperform competitors in quality.

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