A traffic conditioner is an element of the Differentiated Services architecture. This architecture is used to regulate quality of service in computer networks. Five traffic conditioners were selected for the study. These include the token bucket marker and four conditioners described in RFCs. The contribution of this dissertation is two-fold. Firstly, it presents process algebra models of the five identified traffic conditioners. These models provide succinct descriptions of the conditioners thereby highlighting essential features. The models are, however, not intended for model checking purposes, but rather serve as a convenient pedagogical device. The second and main contribution of the dissertation is a simulation study to investigate the relative performance of the five traffic conditioners across a range of simulated scenarios in which traffic patterns and subscription levels are varied in a fixed network topology. Two performance measures—TargetRatio and GreenRatio—are defined, justified, and used to compare the traffic conditioners. The GreenRatio measure was found to be more discriminating than the TargetRatio measure. A variant of the GreenRatio measure was used to further illuminate the differences between conditioners. The simulation results suggest that the performance of the conditioners are sensitive to parameter values such as token bucket size and that bursty traffic patterns are particularly sensitive to these parameters. Under such bursty conditions, these parameters should be chosen with care.
Dissertation (MSc (Computer Science))--University of Pretoria, 2007.