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Goodput-Aware Load Distribution for Real-Time Traffic over Multipath Networks

Load distribution is a key research issue in deploying the limited network resources available to support traffic transmissions. Developing an effective solution is critical for enhancing traffic performance and network utilization. In this paper, we investigate the problem of load distribution for real-time traffic over multipath networks. Due to the path diversity and unreliability in heterogeneous overlay networks, large end-to-end delay and consecutive packet losses can significantly degrade the traffic flow’s goodput, whereas existing studies mainlyfocus on the delay or throughput performance. To address the challenging problems, we propose a Goodput-Aware Load distribuTiON (GALTON) model that includes three phases: (1) path status estimation to accurately sense the quality of each transport link, (2) flow rate assignment to optimize the aggregate goodput of input traffic, and (3) deadline-constrained packet interleaving to mitigate consecutive losses.

We present a mathematical formulation for multipath load distribution and derive the solution based on utility theory. The performance of the proposed model is evaluated through semi-physical emulations in Exata involving both real Internet traffic traces and H.264 video streaming. Experimental results show that GALTON outperforms existing traffic distribution models in terms of goodput, video Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio (PSNR), end-to-end delay, and aggregate loss rate.