On Finding Multicast Paths in the Internet

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Executive Summary

This paper evaluates the so-called Multicasting Via Paths (MVP) protocol. Both an ILP-based (exact) algorithm and a greedy heuristic algorithm for finding MVP paths are presented. By numerical experiments, the authors find that MVP is usually cheaper than IP multicast within ISP networks (in terms of sum of edge costs), and is only about 0- 30% more expensive between ISPs, where the number of destination Autonomous Systems (AS) was varied from 2 to 1024. For comparison, multiple unicast transmissions (IP unicast) is about 15-140% more expensive between ISPs. This suggests that, due to reduced forwarding complexity, the MVP protocol is a viable option for the future Internet.

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