STAR: A transparent spanning tree bridge protocol with alternate routing

King Shan Lui, Whay Chiou Lee, Klara Nahrstedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With increasing demand for multimedia applications, local area network (LAN) technologies are rapidly being upgraded to provide support for quality of service (QoS). In a network that consists of an interconnection of multiple LANs via bridges, the QoS of a flow depends on the length of an end-to-end forwarding path. In the IEEE 802. 1D standard for bridges, a spanning tree is built among the bridges for loop-free frame forwarding. Albeit simple, this approach does not support all-pair shortest paths. In this paper, we present a novel bridge protocol, the Spanning Tree Alternate Routing (STAR) Bridge Protocol, that attempts to find and forward frames over alternate paths that are provably shorter than their corresponding tree paths. Being backward compatible to IEEE 802. ID, our bridge protocol allows cost-effective performance enhancement of an existing extended LAN by incrementally replacing a few bridges in the extended LAN by the new STAR bridges. We develop a strategy to ascertain bridge locations for maximum performance gain. Our study shows that we can significantly improve the end-to-end performance when deploying our bridge protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-46
Number of pages14
JournalComputer Communication Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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