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Traffic Engineering (TE) has been long studied as a network optimization problem, but its impact on user-perceived application performance has received little attention. The authors' paper takes a first step to address this disparity. Using real traffic matrices and topologies from three ISPs, they conduct very large-scale experiments simulating ISP traffic as an aggregate of a large number of TCP flows. Their application-centric, empirical approach yields two rather unexpected findings. First, link utilization metrics, and MLU in particular, are poor predictors of application performance.
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