Adapting a delay-based protocol to heterogeneous environments
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We investigate the issues in making a delay-based protocol adaptive to heterogeneous environments. We assess and address the problems a delay-based protocol faces when competing with a loss-based protocol such as TCP. We investigate if noise and variability in delay measurements in environments such as cable and ADSL access networks impact the delay-based protocol behavior significantly. We investigate these issues in the context of incremental deployment of a new delay-based protocol, PERT. We propose design modifications to PERT to compete with the TCP flavor SACK. We show through simulations and real network experiments that, with the proposed changes, PERT experiences lower drop rates than SACK and leads to lower overall drop rates with different mixes of PERT and SACK protocols. Delay-based protocols, being less aggressive, have problems in fully utilizing a highspeed link while operating alone. We show that a single PERT flow can fully utilize a high-speed, high-delay link. We performed several experiments with diverse parameters and simulated numerous scenarios using ns-2. The results from simulations indicate that PERT can adapt to heterogeneous networks and can operate well in an environment of heterogeneous protocols and other miscellaneous scenarios like wireless networks (in the presence of channel errors). We also show that proposed changes retain the desirable properties of PERT such as low loss rates and fairness when operating alone. To see how the protocol performs with the real-world traffic, the protocol has also been implemented in the Linux kernel and tested through experiments on live networks, by measuring the throughput and losses between nodes in our lab at TAMU and different machines at diverse location across the globe on the planet-lab. The results from simulations indicate that PERT can compete with TCP in diverse environments and provides benefits as it is incrementally deployed. Results from real-network experiments strengthen this claim as PERT shows similar behavior with the real-world traffic.