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Dynamic modeling of Internet congestion control
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Automatic Control.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) has successfully governed the Internet congestion control for two decades. It is by now, however, widely recognized that TCP has started to reach its limits and that new congestion control protocols are needed in the near future. This has spurred an intensive research effort searching for new congestion control designs that meet the demands of a future Internet scaled up in size, capacity and heterogeneity. In this thesis we derive network fluid flow models suitable for analysis and synthesis of window based congestion control protocols such as TCP.

In window based congestion control the transmission rate of a sender is regulated by: (1) the adjustment of the so called window, which is an upper bound on the number of packets that are allowed to be sent before receiving an acknowledgment packet (ACK) from the receiver side, and (2) the rate of the returning ACKs. From a dynamical perspective, this constitutes a cascaded control structure with an outer and an inner loop.

The first contribution of this thesis is a novel dynamical characterization and an analysis of the inner loop, generic to all window based schemes and formed by the interaction between the, so called, ACK-clocking mechanism and the network. The model is based on a fundamental integral equation relating the instantaneous flow rate and the window dynamics. It is verified in simulations and testbed experiments that the model accurately predicts dynamical behavior in terms of system stability, previously unknown oscillatory behavior and even fast phenomenon such as traffic burstiness patterns present in the system. It is demonstrated that this model is more accurate than many of the existing models in the literature.

In the second contribution we consider the outer loop and present a detailed fluid model of a generic window based congestion control protocol using queuing delay as congestion notification. The model accounts for the relations between the actual packets in flight and the window size, the window control, the estimator dynamics as well as sampling effects that may be present in an end-to-end congestion control algorithm. The framework facilitates modeling of a quite large class of protocols.

The third contribution is a closed loop analysis of the recently proposed congestion control protocol FAST TCP. This contribution also serves as a demonstration of the developed modeling framework. It is shown and verified in experiments that the delay configuration is critical to the stability of the system. A conclusion from the analysis is that the gain of the ACK-clocking mechanism dramatically increases with the delay heterogeneity for the case of an equal resource allocation policy. Since this strongly affects the stability properties of the system, this is alarming for all window based congestion control protocols striving towards proportional fairness. While these results are interesting as such, perhaps the most important contribution is the developed stability analysis technique.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2008. , vi, 194 p.
Trita-EE, ISSN 1653-5146 ; 2008:020
Keyword [en]
Congestion control, TCP, Control theory, Fluid flow modeling, Internet, Telecommunication
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4708ISBN: 978-91-7178-945-7OAI: diva2:13540
Public defence
2008-05-09, F2, Lindstedtsvägen 26, 10:15
QC 20100813Available from: 2008-04-25 Created: 2008-04-25 Last updated: 2010-08-13Bibliographically approved

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