As scientific research becomes more collaborative and more data-intensive, larger teams of scientists are generating, sharing and analyzing increasingly large datasets. Many of these applications need networking support that provides predictable performance, which in turn requires effective algorithms for bandwidth reservations. A team of Berkeley Lab researchers have recently developed an algorithm that will allow users to inquire about bandwidth availability, and receive alternative suggestions when reservation requests fail.
When they first looked into the issue of flexible bandwidth provisioning, Balman and his co-authors thought the problem would be hard in terms of complexity. But on further examination, they realized that it can be solved in polynomial time, and it can be implemented and integrated into the current network reservation frameworks in a very effective manner. The algorithm produces results in less than a second for current network configurations, and it is quite practical even if applied to future very large networks with hundreds or even thousands of routers and links, a critical factor as nearly all end-to-end network connections traverse multiple links across different networks.