Optimal delay scheduling in networks with arbitrary constraints

Jagabathula S., Shah D.
Proceedings of the 2008 ACM SIGMETRICS International Conference on Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems, Issue 1, pp. 395-406

We consider the problem of designing an online scheduling scheme for a multi-hop wireless packet network with arbitrary topology and operating under arbitrary scheduling constraints. The objective is to design a scheme that achieves high throughput and low delay simultaneously. We propose a scheduling scheme that – for networks operating under primary interference constraints – guarantees a per-flow end-to-end packet delay bound of 5dj/(1-ρj), at a factor 5 loss of throughput, where dj is the path length (number of hops) of flow j and ρj is the effective loading along the route of flow j. Clearly, dj is a universal lower bound on end-to-end packet delay for flow j. Thus, our result is essentially optimal. To the best of our knowledge, our result is the first one to show that it is possible to achieve a per-flow end-to-end delay bound of O(# of hops) in a constrained network.

Designing such a scheme comprises two related subproblems: Global Scheduling and Local Scheduling. Global Scheduling involves determining the set of links that will be simultaneously active, without violating the scheduling constraints. While local scheduling involves determining the packets that will be transferred across active edges. We design a local scheduling scheme by adapting the Preemptive Last-In-First-Out (PL) scheme, applied for quasi-reversible continuous time networks, to an unconstrained discrete-time network. A global scheduling scheme will be obtained by using stable marriage algorithms to emulate the unconstrained network with the constrained wireless network.

Our scheme can be easily extended to a network operating under general scheduling constraints, such as secondary interference constraints, with the same delay bound and a loss of throughput that depends on scheduling constraints through an intriguing “sub-graph covering” property.