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In this paper, we introduce and investigate a “new” path optimization problem that we denote the all hops optimal path (AHOP) problem. The problem involves identifying, for all hop counts, the optimal, i.e., minimum weight, path(s) between a given source and destination(s). The AHOP problem arises naturally in the context of quality-of-service (QoS) routing in networks, where routes (paths) need to be computed that provide services guarantees, e.g., delay or bandwidth, at the minimum possible “cost” (amount of resources required) to the network. Because service guarantees are typically provided through some form of resource allocation on the path (links) computed for a new request, the hop count, which captures the number of links over which resources are allocated, is a commonly used cost measure. As a result, a standard approach for determining the cheapest path available that meets a desired level of service guarantees is to compute a minimum hop shortest (optimal) path. Furthermore, for efficiency purposes, it is desirable to precompute such optimal minimum hop paths for all possible service requests. Providing this information gives rise to solving the AHOP problem. The paper’s contributions are to investigate the computational complexity of solving the AHOP problem for two of the most prevalent cost functions (path weights) in networks, namely, additive and bottleneck weights. In particular, we establish that a solution based on the Bellman–Ford algorithm is optimal for additive weights, but show that this does not hold for bottleneck weights for which a lower complexity solution exists.
Hop-restricted shortest paths, maximum bandwidth, minimum delay, networks, quality-of-service routing
Date Posted: 15 November 2004
This document has been peer reviewed.