Revised Definition of Multicast-Favorable Max-Min Fairness

P. Österberg and T. Zhang (Sweden)


Multicast switching and networking, resource allocation, fairness, and utility


In scenarios where many receivers simultaneously are interested in the same data, multicast transmission is more bandwidth efficient than unicast. As a consequence, the benefit of multicast transmission is growing with the rising interest in video-streaming services. Therefore, the concept of multicast fairness has attracted some attention; it might for example be sensible to prioritize multicast flows and thereby create an incentive for the use of multicast transmission. The most general definition of multicast fairness, which prioritizes multicast traffic, is probably multicast-favorable max-min fairness (MFMF). However, in this paper it is shown that the MFMF definition is afflicted with a flaw that for certain traffic scenarios leads to intuitively unfair bandwidth allocations. The flaw is analyzed whereupon a revised version of the definition is proposed, which solves the problem. A description of how the definition can be used to evaluate the fairness of other bandwidth allocations is also included.

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