A TCP Test to Allow Senders to Identify Receiver Non-Compliance

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Last updated 2015-01-04 (latest revision 2014-07-03)
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The TCP protocol relies on receivers sending accurate and timely feedback to the sender. Currently the sender has no means to verify that a receiver is correctly sending this feedback according to the protocol. A receiver that is non-compliant has the potential to disrupt a sender's resource allocation, increasing its transmission rate on that connection which in turn could adversely affect the network itself. This document presents a two stage test process that can be used to identify whether a receiver is non-compliant. The tests enshrine the principle that one shouldn't attribute to malice that which may be accidental. The first stage test causes minimum impact to the receiver but raises a suspicion of non-compliance. The second stage test can then be used to verify that the receiver is non-compliant. This specification does not modify the core TCP protocol - the tests can either be implemented as a test suite or as a stand-alone test through a simple modification to the sender implementation.


Toby Moncaster (toby.moncaster@cl.cam.ac.uk)
Bob Briscoe (bob.briscoe@bt.com)
Arnaud Jacquet (arnaud.jacquet@bt.com)

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)