IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Optimizing Flow Thinning Protection in Multicommodity Networks with Variable Link Capacity


  • Michał Pióro

    () (Institute of Telecommunications, Warsaw University of Technology, 00-665 Warsaw, Poland; and Department of Electrical and Information Technology, Lund University, 221 00 Lund, Sweden)

  • Yoann Fouquet

    () (Sorbonne universités, Université de technologie de Compiègne, UMR CNRS 7253 Heudiasyc, 60203 Compiègne cedex, France)

  • Dritan Nace

    () (Sorbonne universités, Université de technologie de Compiègne, UMR CNRS 7253 Heudiasyc, 60203 Compiègne cedex, France)

  • Michael Poss

    () (UMR CNRS 5506 LIRMM, Université de Montpellier, 161 rue Ada, 34392 Montpellier Cedex 5, France)


Flow thinning (FT) is a concept of a traffic routing and protection strategy applicable to communication networks with variable capacity of links. In such networks, the links do not attain their nominal (maximum) capacity simultaneously, so in a typical network state only some links are fully available whereas on each of the remaining links only a fraction of its maximum capacity is usable. Every end-to-end traffic demand is assigned a set of logical tunnels whose total capacity is dedicated to carry the demand’s traffic. The nominal (i.e., maximum) capacity of the tunnels, supported by the nominal (maximum) link capacity, is subject to state-dependent thinning to account for variable capacity of the links fluctuating below the maximum. Accordingly, the capacity available on the tunnels is also fluctuating below their nominal levels and hence the instantaneous traffic sent between the demand’s end nodes must accommodate to the current total capacity available on its dedicated tunnels. The related multi-commodity flow optimization problem is (N-script)(P-script) -hard and its noncompact linear programming formulation requires path generation. For that, we formulate an integer programming pricing problem, at the same time showing the cases when the pricing is polynomial. We also consider an important variant of FT, affine thinning, that may lead to practical FT implementations. We present a numerical study illustrating traffic efficiency of FT and computational efficiency of its optimization models. Our considerations are relevant, among others, for wireless mesh networks utilizing multiprotocol label switching tunnels.

Suggested Citation

  • Michał Pióro & Yoann Fouquet & Dritan Nace & Michael Poss, 2016. "Optimizing Flow Thinning Protection in Multicommodity Networks with Variable Link Capacity," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 64(2), pages 273-289, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:oropre:v:64:y:2016:i:2:p:273-289

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:coopap:v:69:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10589-017-9956-z is not listed on IDEAS


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:oropre:v:64:y:2016:i:2:p:273-289. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.