Scalable Service Differentiation Using Purely End-to-End Mechanisms: Features and Limitations

We investigate schemes for achieving service differentiation via weighted end-to-end congestion control mechanisms within the framework of the additive-increase-multiplicative-decrease (AIMD) principle, and study their performance as instantiations of the TCP protocol.

Our first approach considers a class of weighted AIMD algorithms. This approach does not scale well in practice because it leads to excessive loss for flows with large weights, thereby causing early timeouts and a reduction in throughput.

Our second approach considers a class of loss adaptive weighted AIMD algorithms. This approach scales by an order of magnitude compared to the previous approach, but is more susceptible to short-term unfairness and is sensitive to the accuracy of loss estimates.

We conclude that adapting the congestion control parameters to the loss characteristics is critical to scalable service differentiation; on the other hand, estimating loss characteristics using purely end-to-end mechanisms is an inherently difficult problem.

By: Thyagarajan Nandagopal, Kang-Won Lee, Jia-Ru Li, Vaduvur Bharghavan

Published in: Computer Networks, volume 44, (no 6), pages 813-33 in 2004

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