Paper review: < Congestion Avoidance and Control [Jac88] >

Reviewer: <Ryan Gehl>

  1. State the problem the paper is trying to solve.
  2. This paper focuses on the problem of network congestion.

  3. State the main contribution of the paper: solving a new problem, proposing a new algorithm, or presenting a new evaluation (analysis). If a new problem, why was the problem important? Is the problem still important today? Will the problem be important tomorrow?  If a new algorithm or new evaluation (analysis), what are the improvements over previous algorithms or evaluations? How do they come up with the new algorithm or evaluation? 
  4. The main contribution of this paper is to propose several new algorithms to deal with avoiding and controlling network congestion. Specifically, the authors attempt to solve problems present in various implementations of TCP. By examining the October 1986 "Internet Collapse", the authors found that the flow on a TCP connection should obey the "conservation of packets" principle, and have created five algorithms based on this principle.

  5. Summarize the (at most) 3 key main ideas (each in 1 sentence.) 
  6. (1) The flow on a TCP connection should obey the 'conservation of packets' principle, meaning that a new packet isn't put into the network until an old packet leaves.
    (2) The slow-start and congestion avoidance algorithms are different algorithms with different objectives, but in practice they should be implemented together.

  7. Critique the main contribution
  8. What lessons should researchers and builders take away from this work. What (if any) questions does this work leave open?

By examining a failure, it is often possible to learn from the mistakes made in previous implementations of protocols.