[e2e] Are Packet Trains / Packet Bursts a Problem in TCP?

Bob Braden braden at ISI.EDU
Wed Sep 27 14:39:46 PDT 2006

  *> Pre-1988 BSD TCP (and, indeed, I believe all TCPs) would start by
  *> sending as close to an entire window's worth of traffic as they could
  *> (e.g. as fast as the application could stuff the transmission queue,
  *> data got sent up to the window size).

Even better: pre-1979 (approx?) Tenex/TOPS20 TCP (Hi, Bill!) retransmitted
the entire window every time the retransmit timer went off.  Without
backoff, I believe.  Ouch.  We learned better, fast!

Bob Braden

  *> In case of loss, TCP retransmitted only the missing segments, but as
  *> soon as all losses were recovered from, TCP resumed hammering full
  *> bursts.  So TCP was not go-back-N, but had a sort of strange burstiness
  *> of the form:
  *>     initial burst -- causing loss -- followed by recovery -- followed by
  *>     new burst
  *> Others who were there, please correct, update as appropriate.
  *> Thanks!
  *> Craig

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