Skip to Main Content
TCP throughput prediction is an important capability for networks where multiple paths exist between data senders and receivers. In this paper, we describe a new lightweight method for TCP throughput prediction. Our predictor uses Support Vector Regression (SVR); prediction is based on both prior file transfer history and measurements of simple path properties. We evaluate our predictor in a laboratory setting where ground truth can be measured with perfect accuracy. We report the performance of our predictor for oracular and practical measurements of path properties over a wide range of traffic conditions and transfer sizes. For bulk transfers in heavy traffic using oracular measurements, TCP throughput is predicted within 10% of the actual value 87% of the time, representing nearly a threefold improvement in accuracy over prior history-based methods. For practical measurements of path properties, predictions can be made within 10% of the actual value nearly 50% of the time, approximately a 60% improvement over history-based methods, and with much lower measurement traffic overhead. We implement our predictor in a tool called PathPerf, test it in the wide area, and show that PathPerf predicts TCP throughput accurately over diverse wide area paths.