Exogenous-Loss Awareness in Queue Management: Toward Global Fairness
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For a given TCP flow, exogenous losses are those occurring on links other than the flow's bottleneck link. Exogenous losses are typically viewed as introducing undesirable "noise" into TCP's feedback control loop, leading to inefficient network utilization and potentially severe global unfairness. This has prompted much research on mechanisms for hiding such losses from end-points. In this paper, we show through analysis and simulations that low levels of exogenous losses are surprisingly beneficial in that they improve stability and convergence, without sacrificing efficiency. Based on this, we argue that exogenous loss awareness should be taken into account in any AQM design that aims to achieve global fairness. To that end, we propose an exogenous-loss aware Queue Management (XQM) that actively accounts for and leverages exogenous losses. We use an equation based approach to derive the quiescent loss rate for a connection based on the connection's profile and its global fair share. In contrast to other queue management techniques, XQM ensures that a connection sees its quiescent loss rate, not only by complementing already existing exogenous losses, but also by actively hiding exogenous losses, if necessary, to achieve global fairness. We establish the advantages of exogenous-loss awareness using extensive simulations in which, we contrast the performance of XQM to that of a host of traditional exogenous-loss unaware AQM techniques.