[e2e] Active queue management and Internet traffic characteristics

Long Le le at cs.unc.edu
Tue Sep 7 23:42:10 PDT 2004

Hi all,
One stated advantage of active queue management such as RED
in RFC 2309 (Recommendations on Queue Management and Congestion
Avoidance in the Internet) is that RED can reduce the number of
dropped packets by keeping the average queue size small because
it will provide greater capacity to absorb packet bursts when
packet bursts occur. So keeping a small queue can result in
higher throughput.
My questions are:
1. On what time scales do packet bursts occur in the Internet
(if at all)?
2. Is the argument above true in practice?
3. To keep the average queue size small, the router probably
needs to drop some arriving packets (if ECN is not used). So
isn't the argument above counterintuitive?
Any answers and comments are greatly appreciated.

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