Date of Award

Spring 2000

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Sciences - (Ph.D.)


Computer and Information Science

First Advisor

Joseph Y-T. Leung

Second Advisor

Bulent Tener

Third Advisor

Ali N. Akansu

Fourth Advisor

Dionissios Karvelas

Fifth Advisor

Marvin K. Nakayama

Sixth Advisor

Yoram Ofek


Group multicast protocols have been challenged to provide scalable solutions that meet the following requirements: (i) reliable delivery from different sources to all destinations within a multicast group; (ii) congestion control among multiple asynchronous sources. Although it is mainly a transport layer task, reliable group multicasting depends on routing architectures as well.

This dissertation covers issues of both network and transport layers. Two routing architectures, tree and ring, are surveyed with a comparative study of their routing costs and impact to upper layer performances. Correspondingly, two generic transport protocol models are established for performance study. The tree-based protocol is rate-based and uses negative acknowledgment mechanisms for reliability control, while the ring-based protocol uses window-based flow control and positive acknowledgment schemes. The major performance measures observed in the study are network cost, multicast delay, throughput and efficiency. The results suggest that the tree architecture costs less at network layer than the ring, and helps to minimize latency under light network load. Meanwhile, heavy load reliable group multicasting can benefit from ring architecture, which facilitates window-based flow and congestion control.

Based on the comparative study, a new two-hierarchy hybrid architecture, Rings Interconnected with Tree Architecture (RITA), is presented. Here, a multicast group is partitioned into multiple clusters with the ring as the intra-cluster architecture, and the tree as backbone architecture that implements inter-cluster multicasting. To compromise between performance measures such as delay and through put, reliability and congestion controls are accomplished at the transport layer with a hybrid use of rate and window-based protocols, which are based on either negative or positive feedback mechanisms respectively. Performances are compared with simulations against tree- and ring-based approaches. Results are encouraging because RITA achieves similar throughput performance as the ring-based protocol, but with significantly lowered delay.

Finally, the multicast tree packing problem is discussed. In a network accommodating multiple concurrent multicast sessions, routing for an individual session can be optimized to minimize the competition with other sessions, rather than to minimize cost or delay. Packing lower bound and a heuristic are investigated. Simulation show that congestion can be reduced effectively with limited cost increase of routings.