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Published February 2005 | Published
Journal Article Open

Congestion control for high performance, stability, and fairness in general networks


This paper is aimed at designing a congestion control system that scales gracefully with network capacity, providing high utilization, low queueing delay, dynamic stability, and fairness among users. The focus is on developing decentralized control laws at end-systems and routers at the level of fluid-flow models, that can provably satisfy such properties in arbitrary networks, and subsequently approximate these features through practical packet-level implementations. Two families of control laws are developed. The first "dual" control law is able to achieve the first three objectives for arbitrary networks and delays, but is forced to constrain the resource allocation policy. We subsequently develop a "primal-dual" law that overcomes this limitation and allows sources to match their steady-state preferences at a slower time-scale, provided a bound on round-trip-times is known. We develop two packet-level implementations of this protocol, using 1) ECN marking, and 2) queueing delay, as means of communicating the congestion measure from links to sources. We demonstrate using ns-2 simulations the stability of the protocol and its equilibrium features in terms of utilization, queueing and fairness, under a variety of scaling parameters.

Additional Information

© 2005 IEEE. Reprinted with permission. Manuscript received Apr. 4, 2003; approved by IEEE/ACM TRANSACTIONS ON NETWORKING Editor Z.-L. Zhang. [Posted online: 2005-03-07] This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF Award ECS-9875056, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, and the DARPA-ITO NMS Program. This work was influenced by many discussions that took place at the Spring 2002 UCLA–IPAM Workshop on Large-Scale Communication Networks; the authors are grateful to F. Kelly, T. Kelly, S. Kunniyur, R. Srikant, and G. Vinnicombe for this fertile interaction.

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