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Consumer network access links can become bottlenecks when faced with heterogeneous network traffic where real-time traffic from network games finds itself competing with nongame traffic for access to bandwidth. We would like to prioritize network game traffic over these bandwidth restricted links. However, the limited resources of consumer access devices make this problematic. We propose a solution whereby the classification of flows is outsourced to an ISP-based system. The access device is then notified of flow classifications and can apply a simple flow prioritization rule. We have developed a prototype of this system and found it viable in terms of functionality, timeliness of classification, and scalability.
Date of Publication: December 2008