Document Type

Technical Report


Computer Science and Engineering

Publication Date






Technical Report Number



A computer network serves distributed applications by communicating messages between their remote ends. Many such applications desire minimal delay for their messages. Beside this efficiency objective, allocation of the network capacity is also subject to the fairness constraint of not shutting off communication for any individual message. Processor Sharing (PS) is a de facto standard of fairness but provides significantly higher average delay than Shortest Remaining Processing Time (SRPT), which is an optimally efficient but unfair algorithm. In this paper, we explore efficient fair algorithms for message communication where fairness means that no message is delivered later than under PS. First, we introduce a slack system to characterize fair algorithms completely and develop efficient fair algorithms called Pessimistic Fair Sojourn Protocol (PFSP), Optimistic Fair Sojourn Protocol (OFSP), and Shortest Fair Sojourn (SFS). Then, we prove that a fair online algorithm does not assure minimal average delay attainable with fairness. Our analysis also reveals lower bounds on worst-case inefficiency of fair algorithms. We conduct extensive simulations for various distributions of message sizes and arrival times. During either temporary overload or steady-state operation, SFS and other newly proposed fair algorithms support SRPT-like efficiency and consistently provide much smaller average delay than PS.


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