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Machine Learning for Bandwidth Management in Decentralized Networks

TitleMachine Learning for Bandwidth Management in Decentralized Networks
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsOehlmann, F
AdvisorWachs, M, Grothoff, C
Academic DepartmentDepartment of Computer Science
DegreeM. Sc.
Number of Pages91
Date Published02/2014
UniversityTechnische Universitaet Muenchen
CityGarching bei Muenchen
Thesis TypeMasters
Keywordsbandwidth allocation, GNUnet, machine learning

The successful operation of a peer-to-peer network depends on the resilience of its peer’s
communications. On the Internet, direct connections between peers are often limited by restrictions like NATs and traffic filtering. Addressing such problems is particularly pressing for peer-to-peer networks that do not wish to rely on any trusted infrastructure, which might otherwise help the participants establish communication channels. Modern peer-to-peer networks employ various techniques to address the problem of restricted connectivity on the Internet. One interesting development is that various overlay networks now support multiple communication protocols to improve resilience and counteract service degradation.

The support of multiple protocols causes a number of new challenges. A peer should evaluate which protocols fulfill the communication requirements best. Furthermore, limited resources, such as bandwidth, should be distributed among peers and protocols to match application requirements. Existing approaches to this problem of transport selection and resource allocation are rigid: they calculate the solution only from the current state of the
environment, and do not adapt their strategy based on failures or successes of previous

This thesis explores the feasibility of using machine learning to improve the quality of the transport selection and resource allocation over current approaches. The goal is to improve the solution process by learning selection and allocation strategies from the experience gathered in the course of many iterations of the algorithm. We compare the different approaches in the field of machine learning with respect to their properties and suitability for the problem. Based on this evaluation and an in-depth analysis of the requirements of the underlying problem, the thesis presents a design how reinforcement learning can be used and adapted to the given problem domain.

The design is evaluated with the help of simulation and a realistic implementation in the GNUnet Peer-to-Peer framework. Our experimental results highlight some of the implications of the multitude of implementation choices, key challenges, and possible directions for the use of reinforcement learning in this domain.

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