A System-Theoretic Approach to Bandwidth Estimation

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This paper presents a new foundational approach to reason about available bandwidth estimation as the analysis of a min-plus linear system. The available bandwidth of a link or complete path is expressed in terms of a service curve, which is a function that appears in the network calculus to express the service available to a traffic flow. The service curve is estimated based on measurements of a sequence of probing packets or passive measurements of a sample path of arrivals. It is shown that existing bandwidth estimation methods can be derived in the min-plus algebra of the network calculus, thus providing further mathematical justification for these methods.