Weighted round robin

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Weighted round robin (WRR) is a network scheduling discipline. Each packet flow or connection has its own packet queue in a network interface card. It is the simplest approximation of generalized processor sharing (GPS). While GPS serves infinitesimal amounts of data from each nonempty queue, WRR serves a number of packets for each nonempty queue: number = normalized( weight / mean packet size ).


WRR mechanism (pseudo-code):

// calculate number of packets to be served each round by connections

for each flow f
   f.normalized_weight = f.weight / f.mean_packet_size

min = findSmallestNormalizedWeight

for each flow f
   f.packets_to_be_served = f.normalized_weight / min

// main loop
   for each non-empty flow queue f
      min(f.packets_to_be_served, f.packets_waiting).times do
         servePacket f.getPacket

Limitations and Improvements[edit]

WRR for network packet scheduling was first proposed by Katevenis, Sidiropoulos and Courcoubetis in 1991, specifically for scheduling in ATM networks using fixed size packets (cells). In the more general case of IP networks with variable size packets, in order to approximate GPS the weight factors must be normalized. That requires estimation of the mean packet size, which makes a good GPS approximation hard to achieve in practice with WRR.

Deficit round robin is a later variation of WRR that achieves better GPS approximation without knowing the mean packet size of each connection in advance. More effective scheduling disciplines were also introduced which handle the limitations mentioned above (e.g. weighted fair queuing).