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We study routing and scheduling in packet-switched networks. We assume an adversary that controls the injection time, source, and destination for each packet injected. A set of paths for these packets is admissible if no link in the network is overloaded. We present the first on-line routing algorithm that finds a set of admissible paths whenever this is feasible. Our algorithm calculates a path for each packet as soon as it is injected at its source using a simple shortest path computation. The length of a link reflects its current congestion. We also show how our algorithm can be implemented under today's Internet routing paradigms. When the paths are known (either given by the adversary or computed as above) our goal is to schedule the packets along the given paths so that the packets experience small end-to-end delays. The best previous delay bounds for deterministic and distributed scheduling protocols were exponential in the path length. In this paper we present the first deterministic and distributed scheduling protocol that guarantees a polynomial end-to-end delay for every packet. Finally, we discuss the effects of combining routing with scheduling. We first show that some, unstable scheduling protocols remain unstable no matter how the paths are chosen. However, the freedom to choose paths can make a difference. For example, we show that a ring with parallel links is stable for all greedy scheduling protocols if paths are chosen intelligently, whereas this is not the case if the adversary specifies the paths.
Date of Conference: 8-11 Oct. 2001