I ordered a thing from a place in the US some weeks ago. The parcel tracker has now reported it on three different continents, and two of those after it already reached my own country.

Or possibly the parcel tracker is not entirely correct, or maybe it's just misleading me. I don't know, but I sure don't understand physical packet routing either.

@liw A famous (apocryphal?) result says that you can avoid congestion by routing to a random node on the network, then to final destination.

@bremner Interesting. Would you happen to have a reference? (Serious question.)

@liw Not offhand. Maybe @11011110 knows whether this idea that routing to a random node in a network and then to the destination avoids congestion is really a theorem or just a folk tale.


@bremner @liw In the paper "Universal packet routing algorithms" (Leighton, Maggs, and Rao, FOCS 1988) they credit this idea to "Universal schemes for parallel communication" (Valiant and Brebner, STOC 1981).

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