Multiuser rate-based flow control

Eitan Altman, Tamer Baar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Flow and congestion control allow the users of a telecommunication network to regulate the traffic that they send into the network in accordance with the quality of service that they require. Flow control may be performed by the network, as is the case in asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) networks (the available bit rate (ABR) transfer capacity), or by the users themselves, as is the case in the Internet. [transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP)J. We study in this paper both situations using optimal control and dynamic game techniques. The first situation leads to the formulation of a dynamic team problem, while the second one leads to a dynamic noncooperative game, for which we establish the existence and uniqueness of a linear Nash equilibrium and obtain a characterization of the corresponding equilibrium policies along with the performance costs. We further show that when the users update their policies in a greedy manner, not knowing a priori the utilities of the other players, the sequence of policies thus generated converges to the Nash equilibrium. Finally, we study an extension of the model that accommodates multiple traffic types for each user, with the switching from one type of traffic to another being governed by a Markov jump process. Presentation of some numerical results complements this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-949
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1998


  • High-speed networks
  • Linear-quadratic control
  • Linear-quadratic differential games
  • Multiuser rate-based flow control
  • Nash equilibria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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