IEEE Spectrum reports that a new study finds that many key algorithms designed to control “congestion” delays on computer networks “may prove deeply unfair, letting some users hog all the bandwidth while others get essentially nothing.”
[A]lthough hundreds of congestion control algorithms have been proposed in the last roughly 40 years, “there is no clear winner,” says study lead author Venkat Arun, a computer scientist at MIT. “I was frustrated by how little we knew about where these algorithms would and would not work. This motivated me to create a mathematical model that could make more systematic predictions….”

Their new study finds that given the real-world complexity of network paths, there will always be a scenario where a problem known as “starvation” cannot be avoided — where at least one sender on a network receives almost no bandwidth compared to other users…. Congestion control algorithms rely on packet losses and delays

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