TCP-LP: A distributed algorithm for low priority data transfer

Aleksandar Kuzmanovic*, Edward W. Knightly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Service prioritization among different traffic classes is an important goal for the future Internet. Conventional approaches to solving this problem consider the existing best-effort class as the low-priority class, and attempt to develop mechanisms that provide "better-than-best-effort" service. In this paper, we explore the opposite approach, and devise a new distributed algorithm to realize a low-priority service (as compared to the existing best effort) from the network endpoints. To this end, we develop TCP Low Priority (TCP-LP), a distributed algorithm whose goal is to utilize only the excess network bandwidth as compared to the "fair share" of bandwidth as targeted by TCP. The key mechanisms unique to TCP-LP congestion control are the use of one-way packet delays for congestion indications and a TCP-transparent congestion avoidance policy. Our simulation results show that: (1) TCP-LP is largely non-intrusive to TCP traffic; (2) both single and aggregate TCP-LP flows are able to successfully utilize excess network bandwidth; moreover, multiple TCP-LP flows share excess bandwidth fairly; (3) substantial amounts of excess bandwidth are available to low-priority class, even in the presence of "greedy" TCP flows; (4) the response times of web connections in the best-effort class decrease by up to 90% when long-lived bulk data transfers use TCP-LP rather than TCP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1691-1701
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003
Event22nd Annual Joint Conference on the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 30 2003Apr 3 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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