Understanding TCP vegas: A duality model

Steven H. Low, Larry L. Peterson, Limin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

238 Scopus citations


We view congestion control as a distributed primal-dual algorithm carried out by sources and links over a network to solve a global optimization problem. We describe a multilink multisource model of the TCP Vegas congestion control mechanism. The model provides a fundamental understanding of delay, fairness and loss properties of TCP Vegas. It implies that Vegas stabilizes around a weighted proportionally fair allocation of network capacity when there is sufficient buffering in the network. It clarifies the mechanism through which persistent congestion may arise and its consequences, and suggests how we might use REM active queue management to prevent it. We present simulation results that validate our conclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-235
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of the ACM
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Persistent congestion
  • REM
  • TCP Vegas
  • TCP congestion control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Artificial Intelligence


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