RAPID: Shrinking the Congestion-Control Timescale

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Executive Summary

TCP congestion-control is fairly inefficient in achieving high throughput in high-speed and dynamic-bandwidth environments. The main culprit is the slow bandwidth-search process used by TCP, which may take up to several thousands of Round-Trip Times (RTTs) in searching for and acquiring the end-to-end spare bandwidth. Even the recently-proposed "High speed" transport protocols may take hundreds of RTTs for this. In this paper, the authors design a new approach for congestion-control that allows TCP connections to boldly search for, and adapt to, the available bandwidth within a single RTT. The approach relies on carefully orchestrated packet sending times and estimates the available bandwidth based on the delays experienced by these.

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