Unicast Routing: Cost-Performance Tradeoffs
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The objective of unicast routing is to find a path from a source to a destination. Conventional routing has been used mainly to provide connectivity. It lacks the ability to provide any kind of service guarantees and smart usage of network resources. Improving performance is possible by being aware of both traffic characteristics and current available resources. This paper surveys a range of routing solutions, which can be categorized depending on the degree of the awareness of the algorithm: (1) QoS/Constraint-based routing solutions are aware of traffic requirements of individual connection requests; (2) Traffic-aware routing solutions assume knowledge of the location of communicating ingress-egress pairs and possibly the traffic demands among them; (3) Routing solutions that are both QoS-aware as (1) and traffic-aware as (2); (4) Best-effort solutions are oblivious to both traffic and QoS requirements, but are adaptive only to current resource availability. The best performance can be achieved by having all possible knowledge so that while finding a path for an individual ﬂow, one can make a smart choice among feasible paths to increase the chances of supporting future requests. However, this usually comes at the cost of increased complexity and decreased scalability. In this paper, we discuss such cost-performance tradeoffs by surveying proposed heuristic solutions and hybrid approaches.