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Reliable multicast is critical to multicast based applications as it provides reliability over the unreliable network. Although the primary function of reliable multicast is loss recovery and flow control which are similar to that of reliable unicast, the inherent property of multicast that multiple receivers coexist in one multicast session imposes new challenges such as acknowledge implosion and poor scalability. Among existing reliable multicast protocols, tree based reliable multicast protocols can achieve the reliability in a scalable fashion. They group the receivers into a hierarchy called the ACK tree and the ACK/NACK messages and retransmitted packets are transmitted between adjacent levels.
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