What are the implications of min_htlc_size in "Pickhardt Payments" on the Lightning Network?

What are the implications of min_htlc_size in “Pickhardt Payments” on the Lightning Network?


I’ve read the paper “Optimally Reliable & Cheap Payment Flows on the Lightning Network” by Rene Pickhardt & Stefan Richter and I’m tempted to assume the answer to my question, but I still have some nagging doubts. So, I’ll ask here.

It’s clear that setting base fees to zero helps the pathfinding system because base fees don’t scale linearly – they’re zero when the value transferred is zero, and a fixed non-zero amount when the value transferred is non-zero.

What’s not clear is whether setting a minimum HTLC will affect the pathfinding. Some people have pointed out concerns that with a base fee of zero, the routing fee can be rounded down to zero on small payments. That’d allow someone to spam a larger payment through as a series of tiny payments at no cost. Setting a sufficiently sized min HTLC (sufficient for your fee rate so that all routes are at least 1 msat) can avoid this, but obviously at the expense of no longer being able to route arbitrarily small amounts.

My main question is therefore simply: does setting a minimum HTLC value influence the pathfinding in Pickhardt payments at all?

Related question: If yes, in what ways? Is it scale related? To get an idea of this: How harmful to the overall system would it be if everyone had small (e.g. 10sat) min HTLC settings? How about larger (e.g. an unrealistic value like 10000sat)?

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