Back-pressure-based packet-by-packet adaptive routing in communication networks

Eleftheria Athanasopoulou, Loc X. Bui, Tianxiong Ji, R. Srikant, Alexander Stolyar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Back-pressure-based adaptive routing algorithms where each packet is routed along a possibly different path have been extensively studied in the literature. However, such algorithms typically result in poor delay performance and involve high implementation complexity. In this paper, we develop a new adaptive routing algorithm built upon the widely studied back-pressure algorithm. We decouple the routing and scheduling components of the algorithm by designing a probabilistic routing table that is used to route packets to per-destination queues. The scheduling decisions in the case of wireless networks are made using counters called shadow queues. The results are also extended to the case of networks that employ simple forms of network coding. In that case, our algorithm provides a low-complexity solution to optimally exploit the routing-coding tradeoff.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6193399
Pages (from-to)244-257
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Back-pressure algorithm
  • network coding
  • routing
  • scheduling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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