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Background transfers, or transfers that humans do not actively wait on, dominate the Internet today. In today's best-effort Internet, background transfers can interfere with foreground transfers causing long wait times, thereby hurting human productivity. This paper presents the design and implementation of a background network, Harp, that addresses this problem. Harp has three significant advantages over recent end-host based background transport protocols; Harp uses multiple paths to exploit path diversity and load imbalance in the Internet to tailor network resource allocation to human needs, provides better fairness and utilization compared to unipath end-host protocols, and can be deployed at either end-hosts or enterprise gateways, thereby aligning the incentive for deployment with the goals of network customers.
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