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With the Internet designed to provide best-effort packet transmission, applications are expected to adapt dynamically to the operating conditions observed in the network. For this purpose, congestion control mechanisms have been devised for various transport and (partly) application protocols, and application programs may present, e.g., data rate information to the user. While these mechanisms work well for elastic applications (such as file transfer), the perceived performance of real-time applications may degrade quickly if a minimum required quality of service cannot be achieved. The authors argue that the current interpretation of adaptation specifically of real-time applications is too narrow and present a framework for expanding the scope of end-to-end adaptation, using the case study of voice communications.
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