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More is Less: Reducing Latency via Redundancy

By Ashish Vulimiri, Oliver Michel, Scott Shenker and P. Brighten Godfrey


Low latency is critical for interactive networked applications. But while we know how to scale systems to increase capacity, reducing latency — especially the tail of the latency distribution — can be much more difficult. We argue that the use of redundancy in the context of the wide-area Internet is an effective way to convert a small amount of extra capacity into reduced latency. By initiating redundant operations across diverse resources and using the first result which completes, redundancy improves a system’s latency even under exceptional conditions. We demonstrate that redundancy can significantly reduce latency for small but critical tasks, and argue that it is an effective general-purpose strategy even on devices like cell phones where bandwidth is relatively constrained

Topics: Categories and Subject Descriptors C.2.0 [Computer-Communication Networks, General General Terms Performance, Reliability
Year: 2013
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