[e2e] TCP 'fast start'
David P. Reed
dpreed at reed.com
Thu Sep 29 07:07:26 PDT 2005
Khaled Elsayed wrote:
> I think all these effort to enhance TCP are great. However, it seems
> that TCP has become too old and inefficient for many cases (wireless,
> short connections, ultra-high speed, etc).
Read the original TCP papers and so forth. TCP was never "efficient"
nor was it intended to be. It was intended to be *interoperable*. It
was an *overlay* network. It still achieves those goals far better than
an "efficient" protocol (especially since efficiency seems to come at a
cost - specialization, brittle response outside a narrow set of
operating points, etc.). That doesn't mean that TCP achieves its goals
fully - but if you focus on goals it never had (like "efficiency") as
your critique, you will end up with SNA (which was FAR more
bit-efficient than TCP ever was, but failed to be useful in a broad
context) or SS7 and the Bell System 3 kHz highly-optimized billing
machine - also far more "efficient" than TCP but only in a narrow domain.
> Isn't it time that the research community should think about keeping
> TCP interface (sockets) but come up with a more efficient universal
> protocol or am I just too optimistic/unrealistic?
The research community should be exploring a wide range of things.
Resilience and adaptability is far more important than "efficiency" .
Far too many in the research community are focused on a narrow set of
metrics, invented by academics, for academics, merely because they are
quantitative. They are the "drag racing" community, who focus on
top-fuel funny cars (perhaps that's too US centric?). We need more
researchers focused on how the cars fit into the human ecology of
communications, in particular some ought to be thinking about inventing
better metrics for things like adaptability and resilience, which are
far more relevant systems properties. Can anyone tell me a defensible
measure of adaptability that has been used to rank network performance
in the real world?
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