Delaying Transmissions in Data Communication Networks to Improve Transport-Layer Performance
Packet losses in the network have a considerable performance impact on transport-layer throughput. For reliable data transfer, lost packets require retransmissions and thus cause very long delays. This tail of the packet delay distribution causes performance problems. There are several approaches to trading off networking resources up-front to reduce long delays for some packets (e.g., forward error correction, network coding). The authors propose packet pacing as an alternative that changes traffic characteristics favorably by adding intentional delay in packet transmissions. This intentional delay counters the principle of best effort but can reduce the burstiness of traffic and improve overall network operation - in particular in network with small packet buffers.