Networking

When TCP Friendliness Becomes Harmful

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Executive Summary

Short TCP flows may suffer significant response-time performance degradations during network congestion. Unfortunately, this creates an incentive for misbehavior by clients of interactive applications (e.g., gaming, telnet, web): to send "Dummy" packets into the network at a TCP-fair rate even when they have no data to send, thus improving their performance in moments when they do have data to send. Even though no "Law" is violated in this way, a large-scale deployment of such an approach has the potential to seriously jeopardize one of the core Internet's principles - statistical multiplexing.

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