Delay-based TCP congestion avoidance: A network calculus interpretation and performance improvements

Mingyu Chen, Jinsong Zhang, Manohar N. Murthi, Kamal Premaratne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In delay-based TCP congestion avoidance mechanisms, a source adjusts its window size to adapt to changes in network conditions as measured through changing queueing delays. Although network calculus (NC) has been used to study window flow control and determine performance bounds, there is a lack of a bridge between NC theory and the practical issues of delay-based TCP congestion avoidance. In this paper, we use an NC-based approach to derive ideal congestion controllers for representative delay-based window flow control models with time-variant feedback delays. We show that the basic delay-based TCP congestion avoidance mechanisms in TCP Vegas, Enhanced TCP Vegas, and FAST TCP can be viewed as different approaches to approximating a certain NC controller. Moreover, we derive another NC controller that is explicitly constructed to address the throughput degradation of the current delay-based methods due to delayed acknowledgement (ACK) packets caused by network traffic in the reverse path (ACK packet) direction. The approximation of this F-model NC-based controller is shown to provide better throughput and fairness over the existing delay-based methods for a variety of network topologies in ns-2 simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1319-1340
Number of pages22
JournalComputer Networks
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 25 2009


  • Congestion control
  • Deterministic network calculus
  • High-speed networking
  • Reverse path congestion
  • Transport protocols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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