Sharing Small Optical Buffers Between Real-Time and TCP Traffic

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Buffers in emerging optical packet routers are expensive resources, and it is expected that they would be able to store at most a few tens of KiloBytes of data in the optical domain. When TCP and real-time (UDP) traffic multiplex at an optical router with such small buffers (less than 50 KiloBytes), the authors recently showed that UDP packet loss can increase with increasing buffer size. This anomalous loss behaviour can negatively impact the investment made in larger buffers and degrade quality of service. In this paper, they explore if this anomalous behaviour can be alleviated by dedicating (i.e., pre-allocating) buffers to UDP traffic. Their contributions within this context are two fold.