Paper review: < Charge-Sensitive TCP and Rate Control in the Internet [LA00] >

Reviewer: <Ryan Gehl>

  1. State the problem the paper is trying to solve.
  2. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the problem of achieving optimal rates in a distributed environment using only the information available at the end hosts.

  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 that a user-centric optimization algorithm, which does not require any explicit network feeback and is therefore able to be deployed on the Internet, achieves the system optimum at equilibrium.

  5. Summarize the (at most) 3 key main ideas (each in 1 sentence.) 
  6. (1) While fairness is a desirable property to have, fairness alone may not be a good objective. The available bandwidtch should also be allocated in such a way that the overall utility of the users is maximized.
    (2) The authors' proposed algorithm can be implemented over the current Internet (without extensive modifications inside the network) by a simple modification of the existing TCP at the end hosts.

  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?

One lesson researchs should take away from this work is that network equilibrium can/should be achieved through local user optimization of some pricing function as opposed to attempting implement a central authority within the network.