A Caltech Library Service

Microscopic behavior of internet congestion control


Wei, Xiaoliang (David) (2007) Microscopic behavior of internet congestion control. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology.


The Internet research community has focused on the macroscopic behavior of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and overlooked its microscopic behavior for years. This thesis studies the microscopic behavior of TCP and its effects on performance. We go into the packet-level details of TCP control algorithms and explore the behavior in short time scales within one round-trip time. We find that the burstiness effects in such small time scales have significant impacts on both delay-based TCP and loss-based TCP.

For delay-based TCP algorithms, the micro-burst leads to much faster queue convergence than what the traditional macroscopic models predict. With such fast queue convergence, some delay-based congestion control algorithms are much more stable in reality than in the analytical results from existing macroscopic models. This observation allows us to design more responsive yet stable algorithm which would otherwise be impossible.

For loss-based TCP algorithms, the sub-RTT burstiness in TCP packet transmission process has significant impacts on the loss synchronization rate, an important parameter which affects the efficiency, fairness and convergence of loss-based TCP congestion control algorithms.

Our findings explain several long-standing controversial problems and have inspired new algorithms that achieve better TCP performance.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Burstiness; Congestion Control; FAST TCP; Internet Control; Loss synchronization rate; Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Computer Science
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Low, Steven H.
Thesis Committee:
  • Low, Steven H. (chair)
  • Hickey, Jason J.
  • Doyle, John Comstock
  • Chandy, K. Mani
  • Cao, Pei
Defense Date:15 February 2007
Author Email:DavidWei (AT) ACM.ORG
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05292007-223200
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2252
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:31 May 2007
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 02:49

Thesis Files

PDF (new2.pdf) - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page