Technical Report Number
Buffered multistage interconnection networks offer one of the most scalable and cost-effective approaches to building high capacity routers and switches. Unfortunately, the performance of such systems has been difficult to predict in the presence of the extreme traffic conditions that can arise in Internet routers. Recent work introduced the idea of distributed scheduling, to regulate the flow of traffic in such systems. This work demonstrated (using simulation and experimental measurements) that distributed scheduling can en-able robust performance, even in the presence of adversarial traffic patterns. In this paper, we show that appropriately designed distributed scheduling algorithms are provably work-conserving for speedups of 2 or more. Two of the three algorithms presented were inspired by algorithms previously developed for crossbar scheduling. The third has no direct counterpart in the crossbar scheduling context. In our analysis, we show that distributed schedulers based on blocking flows in small-depth acyclic flow graphs can be work-conserving, just as certain crossbar schedulers based on maximal bipartite matchings have been shown to be work-conserving. We also study the performance of practical variants of the work-conserving algorithms with speedups less than 2, using simulation. These studies demonstrate that distributed scheduling ensures excellent performance under extreme traffic conditions for speedups of less than 1.5.
Pappu, Prashanth; Turner, Jonathan S.; and Wong, Ken, "Work-Conserving Distributed Schedulers" Report Number: WUCSE-2004-6 (2004). All Computer Science and Engineering Research.