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Adaptive Reliable Multicast

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Yoon, Jaehee; Bestavros, Azer; Matta, Ibrahim. -Adaptive Reliable Multicast-, Technical Report BUCS-1999-012, Computer Science Department, Boston University, September 15, 1999. Available from:


An increasing number of applications, such as distributed interactive simulation, live auctions, distributed games and collaborative systems, require the network to provide a reliable multicast service. This service enables one sender to reliably transmit data to multiple receivers. Reliability is traditionally achieved by having receivers send negative acknowledgments NACKs to request from the sender the retransmission of lost or missing data packets. However, this Automatic Repeat reQuest ARQ approach results in the well-known NACK implosion problem at the sender. Many reliable multicast protocols have been recently proposed to reduce NACK implosion. But, the message overhead due to NACK requests remains significant. Another approach, based on Forward Error Correction FEC, requires the sender to encode additional redundant information so that a receiver can independently recover from losses. However, due to the lack of feedback from receivers, it is impossible for the sender to determine how much redundancy is needed. In this paper, we propose a new reliable multicast protocol, called ARM for Adaptive Reliable Multicast. Our protocol integrates ARQ and FEC techniques. The objectives of ARM are 1 reduce the message overhead due to NACK requests, 2 reduce the amount of data transmission, and 3 reduce the time it takes for all receivers to receive the data intact without loss. During data transmission, the sender periodically informs the receivers of the number of packets that are yet to be transmitted. Based on this information, each receiver predicts whether this amount is enough to recover its losses. Only if it is not enough, that the receiver requests the sender to encode additional redundant packets. Using ns simulations, we show the superiority of our hybrid ARQ-FEC protocol over the well-known Scalable Reliable Multicast SRM protocol.

CAS: Computer Science: Technical Reports -

Author: Yoon, Jaehee - Bestavros, Azer - Matta, Ibrahim - -


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