graphicHomeAdvance ProgramAward Anniversary EventCall for PapersConference CommitteeLocal InformationPaper SubmissionProgram committeeRegistrationStudent Travel AwardsTutorialgraphic Sigcomm logoSigcomm'99

An Integrated Congestion Management Architecture for Internet Hosts

Hari Balakrishnan, Hariharan S. Rahul
M.I.T. Laboratory for Computer Science

Srinivasan Seshan
IBM T. J. Watson Research Center

This paper presents a novel framework for managing network congestion from an end-to-end perspective. Our work is motivated by trends in tra∆c patterns that threaten the long-term stability of the Internet. These trends include the use of multiple independent concurrent flows by Web applications and the increasing use of transport protocols and applications that do not adapt to congestion. We present an end-system architecture centered around a Congestion Manager (CM) that ensures proper congestion behavior and allows applications to easily adapt to network congestion. Our framework integrates congestion management across all applications and transport protocols. The CM maintains congestion parameters and exposes an API to enable applications to learn about network characteristics, pass information to the CM, and schedule data transmissions. Internally, it uses a window-based control algorithm, a scheduler to regulate transmissions, and a lightweight protocol to elicit feedback from receivers.

We describe how TCP and an adaptive real-time streaming audio application can be implemented using the CM. Our simulation results show that an ensemble of concurrent TCP connections can effectively share bandwidth and obtain consistent performance, without adversely affecting other network flows. Our results also show that the CM enables audio applications to adapt to congestion conditions without having to perform congestion control or bandwidth probing on their own. We conclude that the CM provides a useful and pragmatic framework for building adaptive Internet applications.

Papers are provided as a service to all by the members of ACM SIGCOMM. Please check this box if you are a SIGCOMM member so we can get an idea of how the service is used.

This paper is available in and .

For information about joining SIGCOMM, follow this link


The referenced paper appears in Computer Communication Review, a publication of ACM SIGCOMM, volume 29, number 4, October 1999.

ACM Copyright Notice: Copyright (c) 1999 by Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. (ACM) Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that the copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that the copies bear this notice and full citation on the first page. Copyright for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permission to publish from: Publications Dept. ACM, Inc. Fax +1 212 869 0481 or email at