Quantifying the Effects of Recent Protocol Improvements to Standards-Track TCP

M.C. Weigle, K. Jeffay, and F.D. Smith,
IEEE/ACM MASCOTS 2003 -- The 11th International Symposium on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems
Orlando, FL, October 2003
pages 226-229.

ABSTRACT: We assess the state of Internet conges-tion control and error recovery through a controlled study that considers the integra-tion of standards-track TCP error recovery and both TCP and router-based congestion control. The goal is to examine and quantify the benefits of deploying standards-track technologies for contemporary models of Internet traffic as a function of the level of offered network load. We limit our study to the dominant and most stressful class of Internet traffic: bursty HTTP flows. Contrary to expectations and published prior work, we find that for HTTP flows (1) there is no clear benefit in using TCP SACK over TCP Reno, (2) unless congestion is a serious concern (i.e., unless average link utilization is approximately 80% or higher), there is little benefit to using RED queue management, (3) above 80% link utilization there is potential benefit to using Adaptive RED with ECN marking, however, complex performance trade-offs exist and the results are dependent on parameter settings.

Two versions of this paper are available: The extended version contains the complete set of experiments as well as a more complete description of the methodology, discussion of related work, and results.

(A copy of the slides for the talk presented at the conference is also available in PostScript (compressed) or PDF formats.)

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