Design Technology Lab | NYU Abu Dhabi
Yasir Zaki, Jay Chen, Thomas Pötsch, Lakshmi Subramanian, Carmelita Görg
Legacy congestion controls including TCP and its variants are known to not perform well over cellular networks due to highly variable capacities over short time scales, self-inflicted packet delays, and packet losses unrelated to congestion. To handle these challenges, we present Verus, an end-to-end congestion control protocol that uses delay measurements to react to the capacity changes in cellular networks without explicitly attempting to predict the cellular channel dynamics. The key idea of Verus is to continuously learn a delay profile that captures the relationship between end-to-end packet delay and outstanding window size over short epochs and use this relationship to increment or decrement the window size based on observed short-term packet delay variations. While the delay-based control is primarily for congestion avoidance, Verus uses standard TCP features including multiplicative decrease upon packet loss and slow start. Through a combination of simulations, empirical evaluations using cellular network traces, and real-world evaluations against standard TCP flavors and state of the art protocols like Sprout, we show that Verus outperforms these protocols in cellular channels. In comparison to Cubic, Verus achieves an order of magnitude (> 10x) reduction in delay over 3G and LTE networks while achieving comparable throughput (sometimes marginally higher). In comparison to Sprout, Verus achieves a much higher throughput especially under channel contention but does experience an increase in end to end delay by 15-70% depending on the level of contention (still 8-10x lower than Cubic).