CS-534: Packet Switch Architecture
Spring 2003
Department of Computer Science
© University of Crete, Greece

2.1   Output Contention, Internal Blocking, HOL Blocking

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2.1.1   Packet versus Circuit Switching

Circuit Switching

Packet Switching

2.1.2   Output Contention

Output Contention

Time-Window Width versus Buffer Space:
In this transparency, the rates lamda may be "instantaneous" or average rates. Truly instantaneous rates are not very interesting, because the flows under consideration are not "smooth" in time (they are not "fluid flows"): multiple flows share a link, and they are multiplexed on a packet-by-packet basis, not on a bit-by-bit basis. When applying the above inequalities to average rates, the averaging may be over a narrow time-window or it may be over a wide time-window. The narrower the window, the more stringent the equalities become, because they require the absence of output contention in each and every short "time-slice" --not just "on the average". When output contention is absent (i.e. the second inequalities hold) over a wide window, but occurs over shorter sub-windows (i.e. the inequalities are violated there), buffering is needed to absord the excess amount of information during these short-term traffic fluctuations. The size of this buffering is proportional to the width of the (shortest) time-window over which the inequalities hold. Compare this situation to the buffering needed in serial-parallel converters (section 1.1), or to the size of voice-sample memory in the time-slot interchanges (section 1.2).

How to Handle Output Contention

2.1.3   Internal Blocking

Internal Blocking

Flow Patern Dependence of Internal Blocking

Multipath Networks: Routing Dependence of Internal Blocking

2.1.4   FIFO Queueing and Head-of-Line (HOL) Blocking

FIFO Queueing: Head-of-Line (HOL) Blocking

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