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Future Internet Congestion Control: The Diminishing Feedback Problem

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>6/07/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>IEEE Communications Magazine
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date6/07/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

It is increasingly difficult for Internet congestion control mechanisms to obtain the feedback that they need. This lack of feedback can have severe performance implications, and it is bound to become worse. In the long run, the problem may only be fixable by fundamentally changing the way congestion control is done in the Internet. We substantiate this claim by looking at the evolution of the Internet's infrastructure over the past thirty years, and by examining the most common behavior of Internet traffic. Considering the goals that congestion control mechanisms are intended to address, and taking into account contextual developments in the Internet ecosystem, we arrive at conclusions and recommendations about possible future congestion control design directions. In particular, we argue that congestion control mechanisms should move away from their strict "end-to-end" adherence. This change would benefit from avoiding a "one size fits all circumstances" approach, and moving towards a more selective set of mechanisms that will result in a better performing Internet. We will also discuss how this future vision differs from today's use of Performance Enhancing Proxies (PEPs).

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©2022 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.