Competitive queue management for latency sensitive packets

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We consider the online problem of non-preemptive queue management. An online sequence of packets arrive, each of which has an associated intrinsic value. Packets can be accepted to a FIFO queue, or discarded. The profit gained by transmitting a packet diminishes over time and is equal to its value minus the delay. This corresponds to the well known and strongly motivated Naor's model in operations research. We give a queue management algorithm with a competitive ratio equal to the golden ratio (ø ≈ 1.618) in the case that all packets have the same value, along with a matching lower bound. We also derive Θ(1) upper and lower bounds on the competitive ratio when packets have different intrinsic values (in the case of differentiated services). We can extend our results to deal with more general models for loss of value over time. Finally, we re-interpret our online algorithms in the context of selfish agents, producing an online mechanism that approximates the optimal social welfare to within a constant factor.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2008
Event19th Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 20 Jan 200822 Jan 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms


Conference19th Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


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