Retransmission Delays With Bounded Packets: Power Law Body and Exponential Tail

Date Added: Feb 2013
Format: PDF

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.