Specifying New Congestion Control Algorithms
RFC 5033

Document Type RFC - Best Current Practice (August 2007; No errata)
Also known as BCP 133
Last updated 2013-03-02
Replaces draft-floyd-tsvwg-cc-alt
Stream IETF
Formats plain text pdf html
Stream WG state (None)
Consensus Unknown
Document shepherd No shepherd assigned
IESG IESG state RFC 5033 (Best Current Practice)
Telechat date
Responsible AD Lars Eggert
Send notices to tsvwg-chairs@ietf.org, floyd@icir.org, mallman@icir.org
Network Working Group                                           S. Floyd
Request for Comments: 5033                                     M. Allman
BCP: 133                                                     ICIR / ICSI
Category: Best Current Practice                              August 2007

              Specifying New Congestion Control Algorithms

Status of This Memo

   This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the
   Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


   The IETF's standard congestion control schemes have been widely shown
   to be inadequate for various environments (e.g., high-speed
   networks).  Recent research has yielded many alternate congestion
   control schemes that significantly differ from the IETF's congestion
   control principles.  Using these new congestion control schemes in
   the global Internet has possible ramifications to both the traffic
   using the new congestion control and to traffic using the currently
   standardized congestion control.  Therefore, the IETF must proceed
   with caution when dealing with alternate congestion control
   proposals.  The goal of this document is to provide guidance for
   considering alternate congestion control algorithms within the IETF.

Floyd & Allman           Best Current Practice                  [Page 1]
RFC 5033      Specifying New Congestion Control Algorithms   August 2007

1.  Introduction

   This document provides guidelines for the IETF to use when evaluating
   suggested congestion control algorithms that significantly differ
   from the general congestion control principles outlined in [RFC2914].
   The guidance is intended to be useful to authors proposing alternate
   congestion control and for the IETF community when evaluating whether
   a proposal is appropriate for publication in the RFC series.

   The guidelines in this document are intended to be consistent with
   the congestion control principles from [RFC2914] of preventing
   congestion collapse, considering fairness, and optimizing the flow's
   own performance in terms of throughput, delay, and loss.  [RFC2914]
   also discusses the goal of avoiding a congestion control "arms race"
   among competing transport protocols.

   This document does not give hard-and-fast requirements for an
   appropriate congestion control scheme.  Rather, the document provides
   a set of criteria that should be considered and weighed by the IETF
   in the context of each proposal.  The high-order criteria for any new
   proposal is that a serious scientific study of the pros and cons of
   the proposal needs to have been done such that the IETF has a well-
   rounded set of information to consider.

   After initial studies, we encourage authors to write a specification
   of their proposals for publication in the RFC series to allow others
   to concretely understand and investigate the wealth of proposals in
   this space.

2.  Document Status

   Following the lead of HighSpeed TCP [RFC3649], alternate congestion
   control algorithms are expected to be published as "Experimental"
   RFCs until such time that the community better understands the
   solution space.  Traditionally, the meaning of "Experimental" status
   has varied in its use and interpretation.  As part of this document
   we define two classes of congestion control proposals that can be
   published with the "Experimental" status.  The first class includes
   algorithms that are judged to be safe to deploy for best-effort
   traffic in the global Internet and further investigated in that
   environment.  The second class includes algorithms that, while
   promising, are not deemed safe enough for widespread deployment as
   best-effort traffic on the Internet, but are being specified to
   facilitate investigations in simulation, testbeds, or controlled
   environments.  The second class can also include algorithms where the
   IETF does not yet have sufficient understanding to decide if the
   algorithm is or is not safe for deployment on the Internet.

Floyd & Allman           Best Current Practice                  [Page 2]
RFC 5033      Specifying New Congestion Control Algorithms   August 2007

   Each alternate congestion control algorithm published is required to
   include a statement in the abstract indicating whether or not the
   proposal is considered safe for use on the Internet.  Each alternate
   congestion control algorithm published is also required to include a
   statement in the abstract describing environments where the protocol
   is not recommended for deployment.  There may be environments where
   the protocol is deemed *safe* for use, but still is not *recommended*
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