Promoting the Use of Reliable Rate Based Transport Protocols: The Chameleon Protocol

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Lochin, Emmanuel; Jourjon, Guillaume; Ardon, Sebastien; Senac, Patrick


Journal Article

International Journal of Internet Protocol Technology



175 – 189

TFRC protocol has not been designed to enable reliability. Indeed, the birth of TFRC results from the need of a congestion controlled and realtime transport protocol in order to carry multimedia traffic. Historically, and following the anarchical deployment of congestion control mechanisms implemented on top of UDP protocol, the IETF decided to standardize such protocol in order to provide to multimedia applications developpers a framework for their applications. However, certain applications (like some P2P clients) do not find among current transport protocols an adpated solution and prefer the use of UDP protocol in order to implement their own congestion control and restransmission mechanisms on top of it. This proof that both congestion control variants of the DCCP protocol does not fill the gap between TCP and UDP and that one transport protocol is still missing. This motivate the present contribution which proposes to design and validate a reliable rate-based protocol based on the combined use of TFRC, SACK and an adapted flow control for rate-based congestion control. We argue that TFRC is a perfect alternative to window-based congestion control as most of today applications need to interact with the transport layer. Furthermore, we seek to demonstrate that the combined use of TFRC and SACK can help designing new transport protocols as both mechanisms share the common goal of improving the QoS delivered to flows by offering respectively a mechanism for enhancing flows’ rate smoothness and a mechanism for loss recovery. Their combined use, associated with their potential modification, offers a source of performance improvements that need applications developpers. We fully detail and benchmark our protocol in order to verify that our resulting prototype inherits from the good properties of TFRC in terms of TCP-friendliness and propose a Java and ns-2 implementation for testing purpose to the networking community.


Lochin, Emmanuel; Jourjon, Guillaume; Ardon, Sebastien; Senac, Patrick. Promoting the Use of Reliable Rate Based Transport Protocols: The Chameleon Protocol. International Journal of Internet Protocol Technology. 2011-03-20; 5(4):175 – 189.

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