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Activity-Based Congestion Management (ABC)

01.07.2016

Congestion occurs in packet-based communication networks when more traffic temporarily enters a network than can be forwarded. Congestion management detects congestion in a communication network and drops or marks packets to mitigate congestion. Still, a few heavy users can monopolize the bandwidth of a bottleneck link, e.g., by opening many flows or using non-responsive transport protocols to send at large data rate. A challenge is to drop or mark the right packets if fair capacity sharing and low delay are desired in a network. We propose activity-based congestion management (ABC), with which users can share a network’s capacity fairly within an ABC domain while keeping packet delays low. To that end, activity meters and markers equip user traffic with activity information that reflects a user’s traffic rate. In case of congestion, traffic with high activity is preferentially dropped on bottleneck links. Thereby, users can achieve a fair share of the network’s transmission capacity. Low delay is achieved by leveraging active queue management (AQM) in routers or switches that start dropping traffic in case of congestion to avoid extensive, permanent packet queueing. ABC-AQM is a modification of a normal AQM that increases drop probabilities for high-activity traffic and decreases them for low-activity traffic. The mechanism is easily adaptable to various AQMs.

Further information: PDF

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
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Dr. Rolf Hecker

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