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

The information below is for an old version of the document
Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Authors T Moncaster  , Bob Briscoe  , Arnaud Jacquet 
Last updated 2007-11-08 (latest revision 2007-06-07)
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


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. Status By submitting this Internet-Draft, each author represents that any applicable patent or other IPR claims of which he or she is aware have been or will be disclosed, and any of which he or she becomes aware will be disclosed, in accordance with Section 6 of BCP 79. Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet- Drafts. Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as "work in progress." The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at http://www.ietf.org/ietf/1id-abstracts.txt. The list of Internet- Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at http://www.ietf.org/shadow.html. Changes from previous drafts (to be removed by the RFC Editor) From -01 to -02: A number of changes made following an extensive review from Alfred Hoenes. These were largely to better comply with the stated aims of the previous version but also included some tidying up of the protocol details and a new section on a possible unwanted interaction. From -00 to -01: Draft rewritten to emphasise testing for non-compliance. Some changes to protocol to remove possible unwanted interactions with other TCP variants. Sections added on comparison of solutions and alternative uses of test.


T Moncaster (toby.moncaster@bt.com)
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.)