Resource Allocation

What Does Resource Allocation Mean?

Resource allocation is an important feature in a heterogeneous network meant to ensure its high efficiency as well as its maintenance as a cost-benefit network. Proper resource allocation improves the performances of both the associated system and the network, and also helps in avoiding the different kinds of transient bottlenecks involved in the network.


Techopedia Explains Resource Allocation

In a given network, the interaction between the various controllers determines the allocation of resources. The resources associated with resource allocation strategies are mostly buffer, bandwidth, processors and peripheral devices like printers, scanners, etc.

Resource allocation is important because:

  • Fairness in resource allocation helps to ensure that the quality of service standards is met.
  • Much needed isolation between different data streams can be achieved.
  • From a network and system security perspective, proper resource allocation allows to ensure a high standard of security by countering different denial-of-service attacks.

To ensure good resource allocation in a network, fairness strategies are developed, such as proportional fairness, max-min fairness, utility fairness, etc. Proportional fairness calculates the resource allocation based on the resource amount and demand vector. In the case of max-min fairness, increasing demand helps in allocating a shared resource. It also ensures that the share of resource is not larger than its demand. In the case of utility fairness, the resource allocation is determined by the utility function associated with it.

Different algorithms are also developed for resource allocation, such as the simple round-robin allocation. These algorithms are developed based either on the strategies for allocating the resources or on the types of essential/prioritized resources present in the network.


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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.