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Recent research has shown that the deployment of active queue management (AQM) would alleviate problems related to high packet loss and long transmission delays and also provide some notion of quality of service (QoS) by intelligent packet marking or dropping. We analyze the relationship between the end-to-end performance and switch nodes' operation state in the current TCP/IP architecture. Based on this analysis, guidelines for performing control actions at gateways are given. A new AQM algorithm, adaptive optimized marking (AOM), is also introduced. We then compare AOM with RED (random early detection) by simulation using ns-2 to show that AOM does improve the end-to-end performance for interactive communications. We also show that a significant performance enhancement for interactive applications in TCP/IP networks is possible, even using the conventional AQM architecture.