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In this paper we propose a new fluid model approach in which a different description of the dynamics of traffic sources is adopted, exploiting partial differential equations. This new description of the source dynamics allows the natural representation of short-lived as well as long-lived TCP connections, with no sacrifice in the scalability of the model. In addition, the use of partial differential equations permits the description of distributions, instead of averages, thus providing better accuracy in the results. The comparison between the performance estimates obtained with fluid models and with ns-2 simulations proves the accuracy of the proposed modeling approach.