North Carolina State University unveils new networking protocol

North Carolina State University unveils new networking protocol

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new protocol to speed data transfers.

The Binary Increase Congestion TCP borrows techniques from database search functions to make better use of available bandwidth.

TCP has long been an integral part of the Internet to establish connections between two hosts for trading data. But the protocol doesn't scale well to Gigabit Ethernet network environments, university researchers contend.

'TCP was originally designed ' when Internet speeds were much slower and bandwidths much smaller,' said Injong Rhee, associate professor of computer science at the university, in a statement. 'Now we are trying to apply it to networks that have several orders of magnitude more available bandwidth.'

BIC-TCP augments TCP's round-trip time (RTT) function, which estimates the amount of time that should lapse before the host would receive an acknowledgement of a successful transfer from the computer to which packets were sent. The larger the window, the more data a host can send before pausing transmission to wait for an acknowledgement.

'BIC-TCP does not modify TCP RTT function, but it rather increases the congestion window in a larger increment than regular TCP, but in a TCP-friendly manner,' Rhee told GCN.

BIC-TCP borrows the binary search technique database design to detect maximum network capacities. The binary searches are faster than linear searches because they continually divide a table of sorted items in half until the correct amount is determined.

'This binary search technique allows the window increase to be logarithmic. It increases faster when the target rate is far ' from the current transmission rate but slows down as the current transmission rate gets closer to the target,' according to a FAQ posted by Rhee.

Rhee and members of his team introduced the protocol at the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Communications Society's Infocom meeting in Hong Kong last month. They have been working on the project for about a year.

The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center conducted a study that found that BIC-TCP transmitted data more quickly than five other experimental approaches, Rhee said.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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