Oscillation and period doubling in TCP/RED system: Analysis and verification

Xi Chen, Siu Chung Wong, Chi Kong Tse, Chung Ming Lau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


It has been known that a bottleneck RED (Random Early Detection) gateway can become oscillatory when regulating multiple identical TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) flows. However, a systematic explanation of such oscillatory behavior is not available. In this paper, we first use the fluid-flow model to derive the system characteristic frequency, and then compare with the frequencies of the RED queue length waveforms observed from "ns-2" simulations. The "ns-2" simulator is the only viable simulation tool accepted by industry for verification purposes. Analysis of the TCP source frequency distribution reveals the occurrence of period doubling when the system enters the instability region as the filter resolution varies. Since random events and a large number of TCP flows are involved in the process of generating the average system dynamics, a statistical viewpoint is taken in the analysis. Our results reflect the true system behavior as they are based on data from "ns-2" simulations rather than numerical simulations of analytical models. The physical mechanism of oscillation is explained in terms of the difference in the TCP source frequency and the TCP-RED system characteristic frequency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1459-1475
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Bifurcation
  • Dynamics
  • Period doubling
  • RED gateway
  • TCP/IP protocol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Applied Mathematics


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