In this paper, we present and characterize a phenomenon that arises when network congestion is met with packet redundancy at a distributed bottleneck. Congestion typically causes packet drops at the queueing level, especially when Active Queue Management techniques are employed to mitigate the bufferbloat effect. Redundancy may be present in the form of packet replication over different paths, as a solution to increase network resilience and network availability guarantees. When both network congestion and packet redundancy are in place, a counterintuitive throughput-boosting effect may originate from them. We named this phenomenon bufferboost, for the key role played by packet drops introduced to avoid bufferbloat effects. The contributions of this paper are the definition of the bufferboost phenomenon, its modelling through a mathematical upper bound formulation, its isolation in an emulated environment for reproducibility and its validation through an extensive numerical evaluation that also verifies the introduced model. Results show that bufferboost is a favorable side effect able to boost network throughput.
The Bufferboost Effect: when Drops and Redundancy boost the Throughput / Grazia, C. A.; Klapez, M.; Casoni, M.. - (2018). (Intervento presentato al convegno International Symposium on Networks, Computers and Communications (ISNCC) tenutosi a Rome (Italy) nel 19-21 June 2018).