Performance Evaluation and Parameter Tuning of TCP over ABR Service in ATM Networks


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E79-B   No.5   pp.668-683
Publication Date: 1996/05/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on High Speed Local Area Network)
rate-based congestion control,  ABR (Available Bit Rate) service,  UBR (Unspecified Bit Rate) service,  EPD (Early Packet Discarding),  TCP (Transmission Control Protocol),  simulation,  

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Rate-based congestion control is a promising scheme as data transfer service in ATM networks, and has been standardized in the ATM Forum. To migrate the existing upper layer protocols to ATM networks, however, further investigation is necessary. In particular, when ABR service class is applied to TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), duality of congestion control schemes in different protocol layers, i.e., conventional window-based congestion control in the Transport layer and ratebased congestion control in the ATM layer, may have a unexpected influence on performance. As an alternative approach for supporting TCP protocol, EPD (Early Packet Discard) has been recently proposed, which adds the function to the UBR (Unspecified Bit Rate) service. It does not have a "duality problem" since EPD only discards cells selectively to improve packet-level performance. In this paper, we exhibit performance of TCP protocol over ATM networks by using a simulation technique. We first compare rate-based control of ABR service and EPD applied to UBR service, and show that rate-control achieves better fairness and higher throughput in most circumstances. However, rate-based control requires careful tuning of control parameters to obtain its effectiveness and a duality problem leads to unexpected degradation of TCP-level performance. By the rate-based congestion control, temporal congestion at the switch is quickly relieved by the rate down of the source terminals. However, our simulation explores that if the parameter set of the rate-based congestion control is not appropriately used, the congestion is also recognized at TCP due to packet drops and TCP unnecessarily throttles its window size. To avoid this sort of the problem, we develop the appropriate parameter set suitable to TCP on ABR service, and point out that some modification of TCP may be necessary for further performance improvement.