Flow Management and Load Balancing in Dynamic Heterogeneous LANs


Today’s local area networks consist of an ever-expanding number of heterogeneous consumer devices and communication technologies. Despite supporting multiple technologies, those devices tend to connect to the Internet using a single technology, based on predefined priorities. This static behavior does not allow the network to unlock its full potential, which becomes increasingly more important as the quality of service (QoS) requirements of services grow. Moreover, existing approaches make use of theoretical models that assume, unrealistically, full knowledge of the network. To this extent, we present a multi-technology flow-management load balancing framework that dynamically re-routes traffic through heterogeneous networks, in order to maximize the global throughput, based on changing network conditions and QoS demands. Along a problem formulation, we focus on the estimation of wireless and dynamic network characteristics and provide a thorough evaluation through simulations and a prototype implementation. We show that our framework is indeed capable of responding to dynamic network events in real-time and offers an increased overall throughput by optimally using the network’s capacity. This results in a throughput increase of around 20 % on average.

IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management