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Technical Report


A Scalable Overlay Multicast Architecture for Large-Scale Applications


We propose a two-tier overlay multicast architecture (TOMA) to provide scalable and efficient multicast support for a variety of group communication applications. In TOMA, multicast service overlay network (MSON) is advocated as the backbone service domain, while end users in the access domains form a number of small clusters, in which an applicationlayer multicast protocol is used for the communication between the clustered end users. Our two-tier architecture is able to provide efficient resource utilization with less control overhead, especially for large-scale applications. It also alleviates the forwarding state scalability problem and simplifies multicast tree construction and maintenance when there are large numbers of groups ongoing in the networks. To help the MSON provider efficiently plan backbone service overlay, we provide several dimensioning algorithms to locate proxies, select overlay links, and allocate link bandwidth. Based on our architecture, we also suggest a cost-based pricing model for the overlay ISP to charge multicast groups. This pricing model would provide key incentives for both service providers and clients to adopt our proposed TOMA service. Extensive simulation studies are conducted and the results demonstrate that TOMA performs well in several common scenarios, it provides efficient multicast transmission comparable to IP multicast, and is scalable to group size as well as to the number of co-existing groups. We also run experiments and show that our dimensioning algorithms could efficiently plan the network resources with little penalty. We believe that the invention of our practical, comprehensive, and profitable multicast service model would significantly facilitate the multicast wide deployment, making multicast service overlay from myth to reality.

Paper: PDF file of paper

Information & Date

UCLA CSD Technical Report #040008, , July. 2004


Li Lao
Jun-Hong Cui
Mario Gerla