Don't optimize existing protocols, design optimizable protocols

Jiayue He, Jennifer L. Rexford, Mung Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


As networks grow in size and complexity, network management has become an increasingly challenging task. Many protocols have tunable parameters, and optimization is the process of setting these parameters to optimize an objective. In recent years, optimization techniques have been widely applied to network management problems, albeit with mixed success. Realizing that optimization problems in network management are induced by assumptions adopted in protocol design, we argue that instead of optimizing existing protocols, protocols should be designed with optimization in mind from the beginning. Using examples from our past research on traffic management, we present principles that guide how changes to existing protocols and architectures can lead to optimizable protocols. We also discuss the trade-offs between making network optimization easier and the overhead these changes impose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalComputer Communication Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • Design
  • Management
  • Performance


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