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One of TCP's primary objectives is to provide fairness to all flows competing for resources in a network. Since the popular flavors of TCP were designed to work with electronic packet-switched networks, they behave differently when used over Optical Burst-Switched networks (OBS). In OBS, burst loss occurs due to random contention of data bursts. Since TCP is unaware of the underlying physical media, the responsibility of fairness must be provided by the burst assembler. The authors investigate several flow-aware and flow-unaware mechanisms that improve TCP fairness over OBS.
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