Sharma, Abhigyan, Arun Venkataramani, and Antonio A. Rocha

Pros & cons of model-based bandwidth control for client-assisted content delivery

A key challenge in client-assisted content delivery is determining how to allocate limited server bandwidth across a large number of files being concurrently served so as to optimize global performance and cost objectives. In this paper, we present a comprehensive experimental evaluation of strategies to control server bandwidth allocation. As part of this effort, we introduce a new model-based control approach that relies on an accurate yet concise “cheat sheet” based on a priori offline measurement to predict swarm performance as a function of the server bandwidth and other swarm parameters. Our evaluation using a prototype system, SwarmServer, instantiating static, dynamic, and model-based controllers shows that static and dynamic controllers can both be suboptimal due to different reasons. In comparison, a model-based approach consistently outperforms both static and dynamic approaches provided it has access to detailed measurements in the regime of interest. Nevertheless, the broad applicability of a model-based approach may be limited in practice because of the overhead of developing and maintaining a comprehensive measurement-based model of swarm performance in each regime of interest.

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