Proportional switching in first-in, first-out networks

Maury Bramson, Bernardo D'Auria, Neil Walton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We consider a family of discrete time multihop switched queueing networks where each packet moves along a fixed route. In this setting, BackPressure is the canonical choice of scheduling policy; this policy has the virtues of possessing a maximal stability region and not requiring explicit knowledge of traffic arrival rates. BackPressure has certain structural weaknesses because implementation requires information about each route, and queueing delays can grow super-linearly with route length. For large networks, where packets over many routes are processed by a queue, or where packets over a route are processed by many queues, these limitations can be prohibitive. In this article, we introduce a scheduling policy for first-in, first-out networks, the ProportionalScheduler, which is based on the proportional fairness criterion. We show that, like BackPressure, the ProportionalScheduler has a maximal stability region and does not require explicit knowledge of traffic arrival rates. The ProportionalScheduler has the advantage that information about the network's route structure is not required for scheduling, which substantially improves the policy's performance for large networks. For instance, packets can be routed with only next-hop information and new nodes can be added to the network with only knowledge of the scheduling constraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-513
Number of pages18
JournalOperations research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 INFORMS.


  • BackPressure
  • Bandwidth sharing networks
  • Kelly networks
  • Massoulié networks
  • Proportional fairness
  • Proportionalscheduler
  • Switch networks


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