Re: [tcpm] [tsvwg] New Version Notification for draft-grimes-tcpm-tcpsce-00.txt

Jonathan Morton <> Thu, 25 July 2019 18:53 UTC

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From: Jonathan Morton <>
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Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2019 14:53:45 -0400
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To: Bob Briscoe <>
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Subject: Re: [tcpm] [tsvwg] New Version Notification for draft-grimes-tcpm-tcpsce-00.txt
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> On 25 Jul, 2019, at 2:20 pm, Bob Briscoe <> wrote:
> The idea was to have a generic wire protocol with a dumb receiver, so that the same feedback protocol could support multiple needs for feedback by different TCP congestion control algorithms.
> So a fairly inefficient re-use of the 'NS' TCP header flag for one particular experiment is very unlikely to fly, particularly when the experiment it supports doesn't satisfy all the requirements in 7560.

AccECN burns the same bit to provide higher fidelity feedback of CE, without addressing our need to feed back the distinction between ECT(1) and ECT(0) at all (unless the TCP Option is used).  Since higher fidelity feedback of CE is not useful for SCE, using NS in this way is actually more efficient for us.  Happily, AccECN and SCE can coexist on different flows, thanks to the fact that AccECN does have a negotiation phase which SCE can naturally reject.

> For instance, I think the reason the tcpsce draft discusses multiple ways of doing the feedback is that, in the presence of pure ACK loss (which is often due to deliberate ACK thinning), none of the three solutions preserve reliable delivery of the ACK signal.

In SCE, *reliable* feedback of SCE signals is not actually required, both because the control loop is naturally stable, and because RFC-3168's CE feedback *is* reliable and thus offers a safe fallback.  Of course we understand that the design constraints for L4S' feedback mechanism were different.

Ack thinning is also something we have explicitly considered, given that Cake includes an optional ack-filter which does exactly that.  (We have, for example, added consideration of the NS bit to Cake's ack-filter, which was a trivial patch.)  Mathematically, the most extreme errors possible in either direction, due to ack thinning, are easily corrected during subsequent RTTs.

 - Jonathan Morton