Simulation-based Comparisons of Tahoe, Reno, and SACK TCP

TitleSimulation-based Comparisons of Tahoe, Reno, and SACK TCP
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsFall, K., & Floyd S.
Published inComputer Communication Review
Other Numbers1617

This paper uses simulations to explore the benefits of adding selective acknowledgments (SACK) and selective repeat to TCP. We compare Tahoe and Reno TCP, the two most common reference implementations for TCP, with two modified versions of Reno TCP. The first version is New-Reno TCP, a modified version of TCP without SACK that avoids some of Reno TCP's performance problems when multiple packets are dropped from a window of data. The second version is SACK TCP, a conservative extension of Reno TCP modified to use the SACK option being proposed in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). We describe the congestion control algorithms in our simulated implementation of SACK TCP and show that while selective acknowledgments are not required to solve Reno TCP's performance problems when multiple packets are dropped, the absence of selective acknowledgments does impose limits to TCP's ultimate performance. In particular, we show that without selective acknowledgments, TCP implementations are constrained to either retransmit at most one dropped packet per round-trip time, or to retransmit packets that might have already been successfully delivered.

Bibliographic Notes

Computer Communication Review, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 5-21

Abbreviated Authors

K. Fall and S. Floyd

ICSI Research Group

Networking and Security

ICSI Publication Type

Article in journal or magazine