Fuzzy logic based robust control of queue management and optimal treatment of traffic over TCP/IP networks

PhD Thesis

Li, Zhi. 2005. Fuzzy logic based robust control of queue management and optimal treatment of traffic over TCP/IP networks. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.

Fuzzy logic based robust control of queue management and optimal treatment of traffic over TCP/IP networks

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorLi, Zhi
SupervisorZhang, Zhongwei
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages238

Improving network performance in terms of efficiency, fairness in the bandwidth, and system stability has been a research issue for decades. Current Internet traffic control maintains sophistication in end TCPs but simplicity in routers. In each router, incoming packets queue up in a buffer for transmission until the buffer is full, and then the packets are dropped. This router queue management strategy is referred to as Drop Tail. End TCPs eventually detect packet losses and slow down their sending rates to ease congestion in the network. This way, the aggregate sending rate converges to the network capacity. In the past, Drop Tail has been adopted in most routers in the Internet due to its simplicity of implementation and practicability with light traffic loads. However Drop Tail, with heavy-loaded traffic, causes not only high loss rate and low network throughput, but also long packet delay and lengthy congestion conditions. To address these problems, active queue management (AQM) has been proposed with the idea of proactively and selectively dropping packets before an output buffer is full. The essence of AQM is to drop packets in such a way that the congestion avoidance strategy of TCP works most effectively. Significant efforts in developing AQM have been made since random early detection (RED), the first prominent AQM other than Drop Tail, was introduced in 1993. Although various AQMs also tend to improve fairness in bandwidth among flows, the vulnerability of short-lived flows persists due to the conservative nature of TCP. It has been revealed that short-lived flows take up traffic with a relatively small percentage of bytes but in a large number of flows. From the user’s point of view, there is an expectation of timely delivery of short-lived flows. Our approach is to apply artificial intelligence technologies, particularly fuzzy logic (FL), to address these two issues: an effective AQM scheme, and preferential treatment for short-lived flows. Inspired by the success of FL in the robust control of nonlinear complex systems, our hypothesis is that the Internet is one of the most complex systems and FL can be applied to it. First of all, state of the art AQM schemes outperform Drop Tail, but their performance is not consistent under different network scenarios. Research reveals that this inconsistency is due to the selection of congestion indicators. Most existing AQM schemes are reliant on queue length, input rate, and extreme events occurring in the routers, such as a full queue and an empty queue. This drawback might be overcome by introducing an indicator which takes account of not only input traffic but also queue occupancy for early congestion notification. The congestion indicator chosen in this research is traffic load factor. Traffic load factor is in fact dimensionless and thus independent of link capacity, and also it is easy to use in more complex networks where different traffic classes coexist. The traffic load indicator is a descriptive measure of the complex communication network, and is well suited for use in FL control theory. Based on the traffic load indicator, AQM using FL – or FLAQM – is explored and two FLAQM algorithms are proposed. Secondly, a mice and elephants (ME) strategy is proposed for addressing the problem of the vulnerability of short-lived flows. The idea behind ME is to treat short-lived flows preferably over bulk flows. ME’s operational location is chosen at user premise gateways, where surplus processing resources are available compared to other places. By giving absolute priority to short-lived flows, both short and long-lived flows can benefit. One problem with ME is starvation of elephants or long-lived flows. This issue is addressed by dynamically adjusting the threshold distinguishing between mice and elephants with the guarantee that minimum capacity is maintained for elephants. The method used to dynamically adjust the threshold is to apply FL. FLAQM is deployed to control the elephant queue with consideration of capacity usage of mice packets. In addition, flow states in a ME router are periodically updated to maintain the data storage. The application of the traffic load factor for early congestion notification and the ME strategy have been evaluated via extensive experimental simulations with a range of traffic load conditions. The results show that the proposed two FLAQM algorithms outperform some well-known AQM schemes in all the investigated network circumstances in terms of both user-centric measures and network-centric measures. The ME strategy, with the use of FLAQM to control long-lived flow queues, improves not only the performance of short-lived flows but also the overall performance of the network without disadvantaging long-lived flows.

Keywordsfuzzy logic (FL), TCP/IP, network, active queue management (AQM), random early detection (RED), internet, topology
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020400604. Network engineering
Byline AffiliationsDepartment of Mathematics and Computing
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