Re: [6tisch] MSF traffic adaptation under stress

Tengfei Chang <> Fri, 10 April 2020 09:17 UTC

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From: Tengfei Chang <>
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2020 11:16:57 +0200
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To: David Hauweele <>
Cc: 6tisch <>, "Georgios Z. Papadopoulos" <>, Remous Aris KOUTSIAMANIS <>, Bruno Quoitin <>
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Subject: Re: [6tisch] MSF traffic adaptation under stress
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Hi David,

I replied inline:

On Fri, Apr 10, 2020 at 12:27 AM David Hauweele <>

> Dear 6TiSCH,
> In the last few months, we performed a small scale study of the
> behavior of 6TiSCH's minimal scheduling function (MSF) under stress. We
> were especially interested in the dynamics of MSF's automated
> adaptation to traffic load. Some of our conclusions have been
> summarized in a paper that we submitted to IEEE ISCC 2020. A copy of
> the evaluation section of our submission is attached to this mail.

Congrats on the published paper!

> Among our surprising findings, we observed that
> 1) The time required for MSF to adapt to a traffic change depends on
> the current number of cells allocated. To give an example, it takes
> much longer to go from 0 to 10 cells than from 10 to 20 cells. We
> attribute this behavior to the way MSF measures cell occupancy by
> counting the number of used and passed cells. Adaptation only occurs
> when the number of passed cells reaches a maximum. However, with light
> cell allocation, it takes longer to reach that maximum than with higher
> cell allocation.

Cool! I have the similar results when evaluate the MSF performance.
There are two things influencing the response time to the traffic changes
1. The value of MAX_NUM_CELLS, which you mentioned. It is configurable. By
setting it to a small value, the  response time can be reduced in case the
traffic load changes frequently.
2.  The number of cells to be added/deleted each time.  In MSF, for the
simplicity, we only add/delete 1 cell every time. An advanced version of
MSF could add/delete cells according the percentage of cell usage.

> 2) MSF can lead to severe over-provisioning, which can be harmful in an
> environment where the resources are scarce. We noticed that releasing
> cells was especially hard for MSF due to the fixed hysteresis
> thresholds. Indeed, the estimated cell occupancy must drop below 25%
> for cells to be released.

The over-provisioning is designed intentionally to avoid the fluctuation of
6P transactions.
It costs additional 50% cells in average, as a trade-off, it could reduce
the cost of sending 6P frames, and the latency caused by 6P transaction.
No sure if there is a perfect way to cover every aspects?

> We already have ideas to improve MSF's traffic adaptation mechanism,
> that we plan to put under test in the coming weeks. We can also provide
> you with more details if you wish. If you see interest in our evaluation
> and proposals, we are eager to discuss this further with the WG.

Very interesting to see your approach to improve MSF !
Referring to the MSF standardization process , as said by Pascal, we won't
be able to made big changes.
We can adapt some minor changes.
Unless there is a flaw in the draft, I would prefer to keep the draft as it.


> Best regards,
> David, Bruno, Aris and Georgios
> _______________________________________________
> 6tisch mailing list

Stay healthy, stay optimistic!

Dr. Tengfei, Chang
Postdoctoral Research Engineer, Inria