Nonlinear continuous feedback controllers
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Packet-switched communication networks such as today's Internet are built with several interconnected core and distribution packet forwarding routers and several sender and sink transport agents. In order to maintain stability and avoid congestion collapse in the network, the sources control their rate behavior and voluntarily adjust their sending rates to accommodate other sources in the network. In this thesis, we study one class of sender rate control that is modeled using continuous first-order differential equation of the sending rates. In order to adjust the rates appropriately, the network sends continuous packet-loss feedback to the sources. We study a form of closed-loop feedback congestion controllers whose rate adjustments exhibit a nonlinear form. There are three dimensions to our work in this thesis. First, we study the network optimization problem in which sources choose utilities to maximize their underlying throughput. Each sender maximizes its utility proportional to the throughput achieved. In our model, sources choose a utility function to define their level of satisfaction of the underlying resource usages. The objective of this direction is to establish the properties of source utility functions using inequality constrained bounded sets and study the functional forms of utilities against a chosen rate differential equation. Second, stability of the network and tolerance to perturbation are two essential factors that keep communication networks operational around the equilibrium point. Our objective in this part of the thesis is to analytically understand the existence of local asymptotic stability of delayed-feedback systems under homogeneous network delays. Third, we propose a novel tangential controller for a generic maximization function and study its properties using nonlinear optimization techniques. We develop the necessary theoretical background and the properties of our controller to prove that it is a better rate adaptation algorithm for logarithmic utilities compared to the well-studied proportional controllers. We establish the asymptotic local stability of our controller with upper bounds on the increase / decrease gain parameters.
Sitharaman, Sai Ganesh (2005). Nonlinear continuous feedback controllers. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from