Receiver-centric congestion control with a misbehaving receiver: Vulnerabilities and end-point solutions

Aleksandar Kuzmanovic*, E. W. Knightly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Receiver-driven TCP protocols delegate key congestion control functions to receivers. Their goal is to exploit information available only at receivers in order to improve latency and throughput in diverse scenarios ranging from wireless access links to wireline and wireless web browsing. Unfortunately, in contrast to today's sender-driven protocols, receiver-driven congestion control introduces an incentive for misbehavior. Namely, the primary beneficiary of a flow (the receiver of data) has both the means and incentive to manipulate the congestion control algorithm in order to obtain higher throughput or reduced latency. In this paper, we study the deployability of receiver-driven TCP in environments with untrusted receivers which may tamper with the congestion control algorithm for their own benefit. Using analytical modeling and extensive simulation experiments, we show that deployment of receiver-driven TCP must strike a balance between enforcement mechanisms, which can limit performance, and complete trust of endpoints, which results in vulnerability to cheaters and even DoS attackers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2717-2737
Number of pages21
JournalComputer Networks
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jul 11 2007


  • Congestion control
  • Misbehavior
  • Performance
  • Receiver-centric TCP
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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