Retransmission Delays With Bounded Packets: Power Law Body and Exponential Tail
Retransmissions serve as the basic building block that communication protocols use to achieve reliable data transfer. Until recently, the number of retransmissions were thought to follow a geometric (light-tailed) distribution. However, recent work shows that when the distribution of the packet sizes have infinite support, retransmission-based protocols may result in heavy tailed delays and possibly zero throughput even when the afore-mentioned distribution is light-tailed. In reality, however, packet sizes are often bounded by the Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU), and thus the aforementioned result merits a deeper investigation.