Network resources are often limited, so how to use them efficiently is an issue that arises in many important scenarios. Many recent proposals rely on a central controller to carefully orchestrate resources across multiple network locations. The central controller gathers network information and relative levels of usage of different resources and calculates optimized task allocation arrangements to maximize some global benefit. Examples of architectures that use this framework include coordinated sampling (CSAMP [1]) and redundancy elimination (SmartRE [2]). However, a centralized solution creates practical problems as it is susceptible to overload, and the controller is a single point of failure.

In this paper, we present a distributed solution called DECOR that achieves global optimization based on local information that closes to centralized approaches in terms of performance. In DECOR, the responsibility of resource monitoring and information gathering is spread among multiple nodes; thus, no single point is overloaded. Allocation of tasks is also done in a similar distributed fashion. DECOR can easily scale up to large networks, and the partial network failures do not affect DECOR’s functioning in other parts of the network.

DECOR can be applied to most of path-based applications. We describe in detail how to apply it to distributed SmartRE and implement it in the Click software router.

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