Competitive buffer management with packet dependencies

Alex Kesselman, Boaz Patt-Shamir, Gabriel Scalosub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We introduce the problem of managing a FIFO buffer of bounded space, where arriving packets have dependencies among them. Our model is motivated by the scenario where large data frames must be split into multiple packets, because maximum packet size is limited by data-link restrictions. A frame is considered useful only if sufficiently many of its constituent packets are delivered. The buffer management algorithm decides, in case of overflow, which packets to discard and which to keep in the buffer. The goal of the buffer management algorithm is to maximize throughput of useful frames. This problem has a variety of applications, e.g., Internet video streaming, where video frames are segmented and encapsulated in IP packets sent over the Internet. We study the complexity of the above problem in both the offline and online settings. We give upper and lower bounds on the performance of algorithms using competitive analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-87
Number of pages13
JournalTheoretical Computer Science
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2013


  • Buffer management
  • Competitive analysis
  • Online algorithms
  • Packet dependencies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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