Distributed control of computer communication systems

  • Gopalakrishnan Ramamurthy

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Flow control in Computer Communication systems is generally a multi-layered structure, consisting of several mechanisms operating independently at different levels. Evaluation of the performance of networks in which different flow control mechanisms act simultaneously is an important area of research, and is examined in depth in this thesis.

This thesis presents the modelling of a finite resource computer communication network equipped with three levels of flow control, based on closed queueing network theory. The flow control mechanisms considered are: end-to-end control of virtual circuits, network access control of external messages at the entry nodes and the hop level control between nodes. The model is solved by a heuristic technique, based on an equivalent reduced network and the heuristic extensions to the mean value analysis algorithm. The method has significant computational advantages, and overcomes the limitations of the exact methods. It can be used to solve large network models with finite buffers and many virtual circuits. The model and its heuristic solution are validated by simulation. The interaction between the three levels of flow control are investigated.

A queueing model is developed for the admission delay on virtual circuits with end-to-end control, in which messages arrive from independent Poisson sources. The selection of optimum window limit is considered. Several advanced network access schemes are postulated to improve the network performance as well as that of selected traffic streams, and numerical results are presented.

A model for the dynamic control of input traffic is developed. Based on Markov decision theory, an optimal control policy is formulated. Numerical results are given and throughput-delay performance is shown to be better with dynamic control than with static control.
Date of AwardSept 1983
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorDavid J Holding (Supervisor) & Martin H. Ackroyd (Supervisor)


  • computer communication
  • flow control
  • heuristic solutions
  • performance evaluation
  • queuing networks

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