Deadline-Aware Multipath Communication: An Optimization Problem

Laurent Chuat, Adrian Perrig, Yih-Chun Hu

Multipath communication not only allows improved throughput but can also be used to leverage different path characteristics to best fulfill each application's objective. In particular, certain delay-sensitive applications, such as real time voice and video communications, can usually withstand packet loss and aim to maximize throughput while keeping latency at a reasonable level. In such a context, one hard problem is to determine along which path the data should be transmitted or retransmitted. In this paper, we formulate this problem as a linear optimization, show bounds on the performance that can be obtained in a multipath paradigm, and show that path diversity is a strong asset for improving network performance. We also discuss how these theoretical limits can be approached in practice and present simulation results.

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