STAIR: Practical AIMD Multirate Congestion Control
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Existing approaches for multirate multicast congestion control are either friendly to TCP only over large time scales or introduce unfortunate side effects, such as significant control traffic, wasted bandwidth, or the need for modifications to existing routers. We advocate a layered multicast approach in which steady-state receiver reception rates emulate the classical TCP sawtooth derived from additive-increase, multiplicative decrease (AIMD) principles. Our approach introduces the concept of dynamic stair layers to simulate various rates of additive increase for receivers with heterogeneous round-trip times (RTTs), facilitated by a minimal amount of IGMP control traffic. We employ a mix of cumulative and non-cumulative layering to minimize the amount of excess bandwidth consumed by receivers operating asynchronously behind a shared bottleneck. We integrate these techniques together into a congestion control scheme called STAIR which is amenable to those multicast applications which can make effective use of arbitrary and time-varying subscription levels.