Capturing TCP Burstiness in Light-weight Simulations

Capturing TCP Burstiness in Light-weight Simulations

Huang, Polly and Heidemann, John
USC/Information Sciences Institute

Polly Huang and John Heidemann 2001. Capturing TCP Burstiness in Light-weight Simulations. Proceedings of the SCS Conference on Communication Networks and Distributed Systems Modeling and Simulation (Phoenix, Arizona, USA, Jan. 2001), 90–96.


Burstiness in data traffic is emerging as a critical property that protocol analysis nowadays can no longer ignore. To preserve the kind of burstiness or scaling phenomena observed in aggregated TCP traffic, we develop a behavior model that captures TCP’s window-based and closed-loop control. Through a novel modeling technique—\emphexhaustive state exploration, we systematically examine each TCP states over a restricted range of connection length and packet loss. This restricted rane covers the TCP behavior most common to web exchanges. When connections step outside this range (becoming too long or taking more than one loss) we preserve simulation accuracy by taking an \emphabstraction fault and changing to a more detailed model. By counting packets with interarrival times falling into certain critical intervals—round trip time (RTT) or retransmission timeout (RTO), we are abale to create finite state automaton (FSA) with states and transitions indicating rounds of back-to-back packet tranmissions. We demonstrate that an FSA approximation of TCP can produce \emphlight-weight simulation models of TCP suitable for background traffic, and that these models accurately reproduce multifractal scaling behavior in IP network traffic.


  author = {Huang, Polly and Heidemann, John},
  title = {Capturing {TCP} Burstiness in Light-weight Simulations},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the  {SCS} Conference on Communication Networks and Distributed Systems Modeling and Simulation},
  year = {2001},
  sortdate = {2001-01-01},
  project = {ant, nocredit, vint},
  jsubject = {network_simulation},
  publisher = {Society for Computer Simulation},
  address = {Phoenix, Arizona, USA},
  month = jan,
  pages = {90--96},
  location = {johnh: folder: xxx},
  url = {},
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  myorganization = {USC/Information Sciences Institute}