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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Optimal bandwidth allocation in a delay channel

  • Author(s): Ehsan, Navid
  • Liu, Mingyan
  • et al.

In this paper, we consider the problem of allocating bandwidth to two queues with arbitrary arrival processes, so as to minimize the total expected packet holding cost over a finite or infinite horizon. Bandwidth is in the form of time slots in a time-division multiple-access schedule. Allocation decisions are made based on one-step delayed queue backlog information. In addition, the allocation is done in batches, in that a queue can be assigned any number of slots not exceeding the total number in a batch. We show for a two queue system that if the holding cost as a function of the packet backlog in the system is nondecreasing, supermodular, and superconvex, then: 1) the value function at each slot will also satisfy these properties; 2) the optimal policy for assigning a single slot is of the threshold type; and 3) optimally allocating M slots at a time can be achieved by repeatedly using a policy that assigns each slot optimally given the previous allocations. Thus, the problem of finding the optimal allocation strategy for a batch of slots reduces to that of optimally allocating a single slot, which is conceptually much easier to obtain. These results are applied to the case of linear and equal holding,costs, and we also present a special case where the above results extend to more than two queues.

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