Paper review: TCP Slow Start, Congestion Avoidance, Fast Retransmit, and Fast Recovery Algorithms

Reviewer: Jason Oh

  1. This paper proposes Jacobson's protocols as standards for the Internet community, offering modern implementations for RFC.
  2. Although not much of a contribution, this paper provides documentation of Jacobson's protocols for the Internet community. This contribution is apparently less valuable now, since this RFC has been made obsolete by 2581.
  3. Since this paper mostly rehashes Jacobson's ideas, it doesn't have terribly profound main points.
  4. This paper rates around a 2 or 3 for significance, as it doesn't make giant leaps from Jacobson's paper on congestion avoidance and control.
  5. Rate how convincing the methodology is: how do the authors justify the solution approach or evaluation? Do the authors use arguments, analyses, experiments, simulations, or a combination of them? Do the claims and conclusions follow from the arguments, analyses or experiments? Are the assumptions realistic (at the time of the research)? Are the assumptions still valid today? Are the experiments well designed? Are there different experiments that would be more convincing? Are there other alternatives the authors should have considered? (And, of course, is the paper free of methodological errors.)
  6. This paper's methodologies aren't very sophisticated, as it simply presents Jacobson's algorithms and offers some explanation for their significance. As Stevens notes, he presents this paper to request discussion and suggestions for improvements. He provides some source code and examples of the algorithms, but doesn't touch on the topic of security at all. Although useful for historical perspective, Stevens doesn't make a huge contribution with this paper.