Optimal Routing for Delay-Sensitive Traffic in Overlay Networks

Rahul Singh, Eytan Modiano

We design dynamic routing policies for an overlay network which meet delay requirements of real-time traffic being served on top of an underlying legacy network, where the overlay nodes do not know the underlay characteristics. We pose the problem as a constrained MDP, and show that when the underlay implements static policies such as FIFO with randomized routing, then a decentralized policy, that can be computed efficiently in a distributed fashion, is optimal. Our algorithm utilizes multi-timescale stochastic approximation techniques, and its convergence relies on the fact that the recursions asymptotically track a nonlinear differential equation, namely the replicator equation. Extensive simulations show that the proposed policy indeed outperforms the existing policies.

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