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TCP Fast Start: A Technique For Speeding Up Web Transfers

Randy H. Katz and Vankata N. Padmanabhan


In this paper, we present a new technique, which we call TCP fast start, to speed up short Web transfers. The basic idea is that the sender caches network parameters to avoid paying the slow start penalty for each page download. However, there is the risk of performance degradation if the cached information is stale. The two key contributions of our work are in addressing this problem. First, to shield the network as a whole from the ill-effects of stale information, packets sent during the fast start phase are assigned a higher drop priority than other packets. Second, to prevent the connection attempting fast start from experiencing degraded performance under such adverse conditions, the standard TCP loss recovery procedure is augmented with new algorithms. Performance results, obtained from both simulation and experiments using our BSD/OS implementation, show a reduction in latency by up to a factor of 2-3.


Publication typeInproceedings
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