Paper Review:
Dynamic Behavior of Slowly-Responsive Congestion Control Algorithms

Reviewer: Robert Dugas


The problem dealt with is basically whether current TCP-compatible congestion control algorithms are ready for deployment with respect to their dynamic response characteristics.


Primarily, this paper determines the dynamic response characteristics of a number of TCP-compatible congestion control algorithms and determines that most are in fact pretty good.

Main Ideas


This paper breaks little new ground in terms of originality or reshaping major ideas about networking. However, it does serve to validate a large amound of pre-existing work.

The experiments and framework set forth in this paper likely constitute is most worthwhile contribution. The authors succeed in establishing general benchmarks and then evaluation techniques for the congestion control problem. In addition, they identify metrics such as convergence time, responsiveness, and smoothness as valid yardsticks. The experimentation takes place using the standard barbell topology and includes the RED protocol.

Although the tests presented do seem to provide usefull benchmarks, the ultimate determination of deployment-ready compatibility should take place on a large scale network of framework rather than a few computers at MIT.

Basically, we learn that most current congestion control algorithms will deploy successfully with TCP, although most slow-response algorithms lose out bandwidth-wise in a highly dyanmic environement. Also, the addition of self-clocking to certain slow-response algorithms greatly enhances performance.