Rigorous Systems Research Group (RSRG) Seminar
In this talk, we consider a load balancing system under a general pull-based policy. In particular, each arrival is randomly dispatched to one of the servers with queue length below a threshold; if none exists, this arrival is randomly dispatched to one of the entire set of servers. We are interested in the fundamental relationship between the threshold and the delay performance of the system in heavy traffic. To this end, we first establish the following necessary condition to guarantee heavy-traffic delay optimality: the threshold will grow to infinity as the exogenous arrival rate approaches the boundary of the capacity region (i.e., the load intensity approaches one) but the growth rate should be slower than a polynomial function of the mean number of tasks in the system. As a special case of this result, we directly show that the delay performance of the popular pull-based policy Join-Idle-Queue (JIQ) lies strictly between that of any heavy-traffic delay optimal policy and that of random routing. We further show that a sufficient condition for heavy-traffic delay optimality is that the threshold grows logarithmically with the mean number of tasks in the system. This result directly resolves a generalized version of the conjecture by Kelly and Laws.