Mark Allman / ICSI @mallman_icsi

Mark Allman. On the Generation and Use of TCP Acknowledgments. ACM Computer Communication Review, 28(5), October 1998.


This paper presents a simulation study of various TCP acknowledgment generation and utilization techniques. We investigate the standard version of TCP and the two standard acknowledgment strategies employed by receivers: those that acknowledge each incoming segment and those that implement delayed acknowledgments. We show the delayed acknowledgment mechanism hurts TCP performance, especially during slow start. Next we examine three alternate mechanisms for generating and using acknowledgments designed to mitigate the negative impact of delayed acknowledgments. The first method is to generate delayed ACKs only when the sender is not using the slow start algorithm. The second mechanism, called byte counting, allows TCP senders to increase the amount of data being injected into the network based on the amount of data acknowledged rather than on the number of acknowledgments received. The last mechanism is a limited form of byte counting. Each of these mechanisms is evaluated in a simulated network with no competing traffic, as well as a dynamic environment with a varying amount of competing traffic. We study the costs and benefits of the alternate mechanisms when compared to the standard algorithm with delayed ACKs.


    author  =        "Mark Allman",
    title   =        "{On the Generation and Use of TCP Acknowledgments}",
    journal =        "Computer Communication Review",
    year    =        1998,
    volume  =        28,
    number  =        5,
    month   =        oct,
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