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In this paper, we study the interactions of user-based congestion control algorithms and router-based switch scheduling algorithms. We show that switch scheduling algorithms that were designed without taking into account these interactions can exhibit a completely different behavior when interacting with feedback-based Internet traffic. Previous papers neglected or mitigated these interactions, and typically found that flow rates reach a fair equilibrium. On the contrary, we show that these interactions can lead to extreme unfairness with temporary flow starvation, as well as to large rate oscillations. For instance, we prove that this is the case for the MWM switch scheduling algorithm, even with a single router output and basic TCP flows. We also show that the iSLIP switch scheduling algorithm achieves fairness among ports, instead of fairness among flows. Finally, we fully characterize the network dynamics for both these switch scheduling algorithms.
Date of Conference: 13-15 July 2009