Light-weight multicast services (LMS): A router-assisted scheme for reliable multicast


Building on the success of unicast IP, IP Multicast adopted a simple, open, best-effort delivery model with many-to-many semantics. Despite several years of effort, a general, scalable and reliable end-to-end transport protocol analogous to TCP has proven elusive. Proposed solutions are either inflexible, or incur high control overhead. We present Lightweight Multicast Services (LMS), which enhance the IP Multicast model with simple forwarding services to facilitate scalable and efficient (compared to pure end-to-end) solutions to problems such as reliable multicast. In LMS, routers tag and steer control packets to preselected endpoints and perform fine-grain multicast to guide responses to a subset of the group without transport-level processing. LMS divides error control into transport and forwarding components, which allows the former to remain at the end-points while the latter is pushed to the routers, where it can be implemented very efficiently. The division is clean, resulting in significant gains in performance and scalability, while reducing application complexity. LMS reaches beyond reliable multicast to applications such as scalable collect, any-cast, and in general, any application that can benefit from a hierarchy congruent with the underlying topology. © 2004 IEEE.

Publication Title

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking