Friday, April 11, 2008

Internet Needs Flow Control

In a post by Larry Roberts (co-founder of the Internet), he proposes a flow control solution to congestion control problems on the Internet. This is an important ongoing issue ever since the Internet collapsed circa 1986. Because it relates to queueing policies, I discuss this problem in Section 1.8.3 "Metastability on Networks" of my Perl::PDQ book.

Roberts claims, contrary to popular belief, the problem with congestion is the networks, not the TCP protocol. Rather than overhaul TCP, he says, we need to deploy flow management and selectively discard no more than one packet per TCP cycle. Flow management is the only alternative to probing into everyone's network and the only way to fairly distribute Internet capacity. The comments on his post are also worth reading because they compare his proposal with already defined protocols, such as WRED and DiffServ.


metasoft said...

please post the link to the comparison between flow control WRED and DiffServ. thanks.

Neil Gunther said...

At first, I knew not of what you commenteth, but then the penny dropped. Fixed now. Thanks, Metasoft.