Journal article

End-to-end congestion control for tcp-friendly flows with variable packet size

Current TCP-friendly congestion control mechanisms adjust the packet rate in order to adapt to network conditions and obtain a throughput not exceeding that of a TCP connection operating under the same conditions. In an environment where the bottleneck resource is packet processing, this is the correct behavior. However, if the bottleneck resource is bandwidth, and flows may use packets of different size, resource sharing depends on packet size and is no longer fair. For some applications, such as Internet telephony, it is more natural to adjust the packet size, while keeping the packet rate as constant as possible. In this paper we study the impact of variations in packet size on equation-based congestion control and propose methods to remove the resulting throughput bias. We investigate the design space in detail and propose a number of possible designs. We evaluate these designs through simulation and conclude with some concrete proposals. Our findings can be used to design a TCP-friendly congestion control mechanism for applications that adjust packet size rather than packet rate, or applications that are forced to use a small packet size.

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