This thesis presents a model for the ACK-clock inner loop, common to virtually all Internet congestion control protocols, and analyzes the stability properties of this inner loop, as well as the stability and fairness properties of several window update mechanisms built on top of the ACK-clock. Aided by the model for the inner-loop, two new congestion control mechanisms are constructed, for wired and wireless networks.
Internet traffic can be divided into two main types: TCP traffic and real-time traffic. Sending rates for TCP traffic, e.g., file-sharing, uses window-based congestion control, and adjust continuously to the network load. The sending rates for real-time traffic, e.g., voice over IP, are mostly independent of the network load. The current version of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) results in large queueing delays at bottlenecks, and poor quality for real-time applications that share a bottleneck link with TCP.
The first contribution is a new model for the dynamic relationship between window sizes, sending rates, and queue sizes. This system, with window sizes as inputs, and queue sizes as outputs, is the inner loop at the core of window-based congestion control. The new model unifies two models that have been widely used in the literature. The dynamics of this system, including the static gain and the time constant, depend on the amount of cross traffic which is not subject to congestion control. The model is validated using ns-2 simulations, and it is shown that the system is stable. For moderate cross traffic, the system convergence time is a couple of roundtrip times.
When introducing a new congestion control protocol, one important question is how flows using different protocols share resources. The second contribution is an analysis of the fairness when a flow using TCP Westwood+ is introduced in a network that is also used by a TCP New Reno flow. It is shown that the sharing of capacity depends on the buffer size at the bottleneck link. With a buffer size matching the bandwidth-delay product, both flows get equal shares. If the buffer size is smaller, Westwood+ gets a larger share. In the limit of zero buffering, it gets all the capacity. If the buffer size is larger, New Reno gets a larger share. In the limit of very large buffers, it gets 3/4 of the capacity.
The third contribution is a new congestion control mechanism, maintaining small queues. The overall control structure is similar to the combination of TCP with Active Queue Management (AQM) and explicit congestion notification, where routers mark some packets according to a probability which depends on the queue size. The key ideas are to take advantage of the stability of the inner loop, and to use control laws for setting and reacting to packet marks that result in more frequent feedback than with AQM. Stability analysis for the single flow, single bottleneck topology gives a simple stability condition, which can be used to guide tuning. Simulations, both of the fluid-flow differential equations, and in the ns-2 packet simulator, show that the protocol maintains small queues. The simulations also indicate that tuning, using a single control parameter per link, is fairly easy.
The final contribution is a split-connection scheme for downloads to a mobile terminal. A wireless mobile terminal requests a file from a web server, via a proxy. During the file transfer, the Radio Network Controller (RNC) informs the proxy about bandwidth changes over the radio channel, and the current RNC queue length. A novel control mechanism in the proxy uses this information to adjust the window size. In simulation studies, including one based on detailed radio-layer simulations, both the user response time and the link utilization are improved, compared TCP New Reno, Eifel and Snoop, both for a dedicated channel, and for the shared channel in High-Speed Downlink Packet Access.
Stockholm: KTH , 2008. , xx, 198 p.