MPTCP Is Not Pareto-Optimal: Performance Issues and a Possible Solution
Multipath TCP (MPTCP) has been proposed recently as a mechanism for transparently supporting multiple connections to the application layer. It is under discussion at the IETF. We nevertheless demonstrate that the current MPTCP suffers from two problems: P1) Upgrading some TCP users to MPTCP can reduce the throughput of others without any benefit to the upgraded users, which is a symptom of not being Pareto-optimal; and P2) MPTCP users could be excessively aggressive toward TCP users. We attribute these problems to the linked-increases algorithm (LIA) of MPTCP and, more specifically, to an excessive amount of traffic transmitted over congested paths. The design of LIA forces a tradeoff between optimal resource pooling and responsiveness.We revisit the problem and show that it is possible to provide these two properties simultaneously. We implement the resulting algorithm, called the opportunistic linked-increases algorithm (OLIA), in the Linux kernel, and we study its performance over our testbed by simulations and by theoretical analysis. We prove that OLIA is Pareto-optimal and satisfies the design goals ofMPTCP. Hence, it can avoid the problems P1 and P2. Our measurements and simulations indicate that MPTCP with OLIA is as responsive and nonflappy as MPTCP with LIA and that it solves problems P1 and P2.