Communications in Information and Systems

Volume 8 (2008)

Number 3

An Optimal Distributed Routing Algorithm using Dual Decomposition Techniques

Pages: 277 – 302



John S. Baras

Punyaslok Purkayastha


We consider the routing problem in wireline, packet-switched communication networks. We cast our optimal routing problem in a multicommodity network flow optimization framework. Our cost function is related to the congestion in the network, and is a function of the flows on the links of the network. The optimization is over the set of flows in the links corresponding to the various destinations of the incoming traffic. We separately address the single commodity and the multicommodity versions of the routing problem. We consider the dual problems, and using dual decomposition techniques, we provide primal-dual algorithms that converge to the optimal solutions of the problems. Our algorithms, which are subgradient algorithms to solve the corresponding dual problems, can be implemented in a distributed manner by the nodes of the network. For online, adaptive implementations of our algorithms, the nodes in the network need to utilize 'locally available information' like estimates of queue lengths on outgoing links. We show convergence to the optimal routing solutions for synchronous versions of the algorithms, with perfect (noiseless) estimates of the queueing delays. Every node of the network controls the flows on the outgoing links using the distributed algorithms. For both the single commodity and multicommodity cases, we show that our algorithm converges to a loop-free optimal solution. Our optimal solutions also have the attractive property of being multipath routing solutions.

Published 1 January 2008