Paper Review:
Analysis of the Increase and Decrease Algorithms for Congestion Avoidance in Computer Networks

Reviewer: Robert Dugas


This paper addresses the problem of finding an optimal congestion avoidance algorithm in terms of fairness and efficiency.


The primary contribution is the mathematical insight and exploration of congestion avoidance schemes and their predicted behaviors.

Main Ideas

  • We want to stay as close to the "knee" load/throughput level as possible
  • Binary feedback provides end-to-end nodes with adequate control feedback
  • Additive increase, multiplicative decrease meets performance criteria


    It is not clear to me what the degree of novelty of this paper is due to my lack of background knowledge of the times. However, it seems that the mathematical analysis of the available congestion control mechanisms proved exceedingly useful

    This paper was largely an abstract, theoretical survey and thus the methodology did not include simulations or tests. Instead, the authors provided mathematical arguments supplemented by graphs and explanations.

    One obvious limitation of the paper is the lack of real-world data. In addition, the authors suggest that future work in the realm of feedback timing and structure might improve performace. Finally, not a lot of attention is focused on reducing oscilation on the way to the fair and efficient optimum.

    The basica message of this paper seems to be that additive increase and multiplicative decrease is the optimal control mechanism.