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This paper is concerned with understanding the connection between the existing Internet congestion control algorithms and the optimal control theory. The available resource allocation controllers are mainly devised to derive the state of the system to a desired equilibrium point and, therefore, they are oblivious to the transient behavior of the closed-loop system. This work aims to investigate what dynamical functions the existing algorithms maximize (minimize). In particular, it is shown that there exist meaningful cost functionals whose minimization leads to the celebrated primal and dual congestion algorithms. An implication of this result is that a real network problem may be solved by regarding it as an optimal control problem on which some practical constraints, such as a real-time link capacity constraint, are imposed.