Bounds for Blind Rate Adaptation

Authors Seth Gilbert, Calvin Newport, Tonghe Wang

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Seth Gilbert
Calvin Newport
Tonghe Wang

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Seth Gilbert, Calvin Newport, and Tonghe Wang. Bounds for Blind Rate Adaptation. In 19th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS 2015). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 46, pp. 8:1-8:17, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)


A core challenge in wireless communication is choosing appropriate transmission rates for packets. This rate selection problem is well understood in the context of unicast communication from a sender to a known receiver that can reply with acknowledgments. The problem is more difficult, however, in the multicast scenario where a sender must communicate with a potentially large and changing group of receivers with varied link qualities. In such settings, it is inefficient to gather feedback, and achieving good performance for every receiver is complicated by the potential diversity of their link conditions. This paper tackles this problem from an algorithmic perspective: identifying near optimal strategies for selecting rates that guarantee every receiver achieves throughput within reasonable factors of the optimal capacity of its link to the sender. Our algorithms have the added benefit that they are blind: they assume the sender has no information about the network and receives no feedback on its transmissions. We then prove new lower bounds on the fundamental difficulty of achieving good performance in the presence of fast fading (rapid and frequent changes to link quality), and conclude by studying strategies for achieving good throughput over multiple hops. We argue that the implementation of our algorithms should be easy because of the feature of being blind (it is independent to the network structure and the quality of links, so it's robust to changes). Our theoretical framework yields many new open problems within this important general topic of distributed transmission rate selection.
  • bitrate
  • multicast
  • packet transmission
  • latency
  • competitive ratio
  • lower bound
  • fading


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