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Scalable reliable multicast using multiple multicast channels

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4 Author(s)
Kasera, S.K. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Massachusetts Univ., Amherst, MA, USA ; Hjalmtusson, G. ; Towsley, D.F. ; Kurose, J.F.

We examine an approach for providing reliable, scalable multicast communication, involving the use of multiple multicast channels for reducing receiver processing costs and reducing network bandwidth consumption in a multicast session. In this approach a single multicast channel is used for the original transmission of packets. Retransmissions of packets are done on separate multicast channels, which receivers dynamically join and leave. We first show that protocols using an infinite number of multicast channels incur much less processing overhead at the receivers compared to protocols that use only a single multicast channel. This is due to the fact that receivers do not receive retransmissions of packets they have already received correctly. Next, we derive the number of unwanted redundant packets at a receiver due to using only a finite number of multicast channels, for a specific negative acknowledgment (NAK)-based protocol. We then explore the minimum number of multicast channels required to keep the cost of processing unwanted packets to a sufficiently low value. For an application consisting of a single sender transmitting reliably to many receivers we find that only a small number of multicast channels are required for a wide range of system parameters. In the case of an application where all participants simultaneously act as both senders and receivers a moderate number of multicast channels is needed. Finally, we present two mechanisms for implementing multiple multicast channels, one using multiple IP multicast groups and the other using additional router support for selective packet forwarding. We discuss the impact of both mechanisms on performance in terms of end-host and network resources

Published in:

Networking, IEEE/ACM Transactions on  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 3 )