Recent Trends in TCP Packet-Level Characteristics
Paper in proceedings, 2011

Up-to-date TCP traffic characteristics are essential for research and development of protocols and applications. This paper presents recent trends observed in 70 measurements on backbone links from 2006 and 2009. First, we provide general characteristics such as packet size distributions and TCP option usage. We confirm previous observations such as the dominance of TCP as transport and higher utilization of TCP options. Next, we look at out-of-sequence (OOS) TCP segments. OOS segments often have negative effects on TCP performance, and therefore require special consideration. While the total fraction of OOS segments is stable in our measurements, we observe a significant decrease in OOS due to packet reordering (from 22.5% to 5.2% of all OOS segments). We verify that this development is a general trend in our measurements and not caused by single hosts/networks or special temporal events. Our findings are surprising as many researchers previously have speculated in an increased amount of reordering.


traffic measurement



Per Hurtig

Wolfgang John

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Networks and Systems (Chalmers)

Anna Brunström

International Conference on Networking and Services (ICNS '11)

Subject Categories

Computer Engineering


Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology



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