Transport Protocol Throughput Fairness

Bhatti, S and Bateman, Martin (2009) Transport Protocol Throughput Fairness. Journal of Networks, 4 (9). pp. 881-894. ISSN 1796-2056

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Interest continues to grow in alternative transport protocols to the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). These alternatives include protocols designed to give greater efficiency in high-speed, high-delay environments (so-called high-speed TCP variants), and protocols that provide congestion control without reliability. For the former category, along with the deployed base of ‘vanilla’ TCP – TCP NewReno – the TCP variants BIC and CUBIC are widely used within Linux: for the latter category, the Datagram Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP) is currently on the IETF Standards Track. It is clear that future traffic patterns will consist of a mix of flows from these protocols (and others). So, it is important for users and network operators to be aware of the impact that these protocols may have on users. We show the measurement of fairness in throughput performance of DCCP Congestion Control ID 2 (CCID2) relative to TCP NewReno, and variants Binary Increase Congestion control (BIC), CUBIC and Compound, all in “out-of-the box” configurations. We use a testbed and endto- end measurements to assess overall throughput, and also to assess fairness – how well these protocols might respond to each other when operating over the same end-to-end network path. We find that, in our testbed, DCCP CCID2 shows good fairness with NewReno, while BIC, CUBIC and Compound show unfairness above round-trip times of 25ms.

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