[e2e] 10% packet loss stops TCP flow

David P. Reed dpreed at reed.com
Mon Feb 28 05:02:41 PST 2005

Interesting theoretical discussion, but remember that TCP was designed 
to run on networks with low packet loss rates, or networks that use 
link-level retransmission or FEC to get packet loss rates to less than 
1%.  This is what was meant by "best efforts".

There've been a lot of people asking the question whether TCP can 
eliminate the value of link level protocols as optimizations.

Of course it can't - a properly structured "attacker" can disrupt TCP by 
many techniques, and some of those can be viewed as plausible behaviors 
resulting from "unintentional" errors (intentional by the network 
designer or manager to leave them untreated or deploy them as 
middleboxes, though).

This is a great discussion, but I hope no theoretician is confused 
enough to think that making TCP run on a 10% loss rate system is of 
practical interest.

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