Compartmental fluid-flow modelling in packet switched networks with hop-by-hop control
Packet switched networks offer a particularly challenging research subject to the control community: the dynamics of a network buffer, their simplest component, are nonlinear and exhibit a saturation effect that cannot be neglected. In many practical cases, networks are made up of the interconnection of a large number of such basic elements. This gives rise to high dimensional nonlinear systems for which few general results exist today in the literature. Furthermore, these physical interconnections that may sometimes span a very long distance induce a transmission delay and the queues in intermediary nodes induce a buffering delay.
Finding a model able to both take into account as much of this complexity as possible while being simple enough to be analysed mathematically and used for control purposes is the first objective of this thesis. To accomplish this goal, a so-called "fluid-flow model" based on fluid exchange between buffers is presented. Neglecting the transmission and propagation delays, this model concentrates on the dynamics of the buffer loads and is particularly well suited for a mathematical analysis. Throughout the work, a systematic system point of view is adopted in an effort to perform a rigorous analysis using tools from automatic control and dynamical systems theory.
This model is then used to study a feedback control law where each node receives state information from its directly connected neighbours, hence referred to as hop-by-hop control. The properties of the closed-loop system are analysed and a global stability analysis is performed using existing results from the compartmental and cooperative system literature.
The global mass conservation typically ensured by end-to-end control protocols is studied in the last chapter using, once again, a compartmental framework. Finally, a numerical study of a strategy combining the end-to-end and the hop-by-hop approaches is presented. It is shown that problems encountered with hop-by-hop control may then be successfully alleviated.
School:Université catholique de Louvain
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:computer networks congestion control nonlinear réseaux de communication
Date of Publication:12/20/2005