On the Fairness of Transport Protocols in a Multi-Path Environment
Today, a steadily growing number of devices contains multiple network interfaces. For example, nearly all smartphones are equipped with at least W-LAN as well as 3G/4G interfaces. In consequence, there is a rising demand for so-called multi-path transfer, which utilizes all of these interfaces IEEE International Conference on Communications, June 10-15, 2012 simultaneously in order to maximize the payload throughput of applications. Currently, this so-called multi-path transfer is very actively discussed by the IETF, in form of the Multi-Path TCP (MPTCP) extension for TCP as well as the Concurrent Multi-path Transfer extension for SCTP (CMT-SCTP). Their larger-scale deployment in the Internet is expected for the near future. A key issue that prevents the standardization of these approaches is the fairness to concurrent TCP flows. A multipath transfer should behave “TCP-friendly”, i.e. cause no harm to the performance of the very widely deployed TCP-based applications. In this paper, we first extend the notion of “fairness” from single-path transport to multi-path transport. Furthermore, we introduce the relevant congestion control approaches in the IETF context for single-path as well as multi-path transfer. We simulatively analyze these approaches in a couple of interesting network configuration scenarios, in order to show their behavior with special regard to the fairness definitions. Particularly, we also point out items of further discussion which are the result of the current approaches. IEEE International Conference on Communications, June 10-15, 2012
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