2.7.11 TCP Implementation (tcpimpl)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of the 40th IETF Meeting in Washington, DC. It may now be out-of-date. Last Modified: 12-Nov-97


Steve Alexander <sca@engr.sgi.com>
Vern Paxson <vern@ee.lbl.gov>

Transport Area Director(s):

Scott Bradner <sob@harvard.edu>
Allyn Romanow <allyn.romanow@eng.sun.com>

Transport Area Advisor:

Allyn Romanow <allyn.romanow@eng.sun.com>

Mailing Lists:

General Discussion:tcp-impl@engr.sgi.com
To Subscribe: majordomo@engr.sgi.com
Archive: ftp://ftp.sgi.com/other/tcp-impl/mail.archive

Description of Working Group:

The objective of this group is to decide how to best address known problems in existing implementations of the current TCP standard(s) and practices. The overall goal is to improve conditions in the existing Internet by enhancing the quality of current TCP/IP implementations. It is hoped that both performance and correctness issues can be resolved by making implementors aware of the problems and their solutions. In the long term, it is felt that this will provide a reduction in unnecessary traffic on the network, the rate of connection failures due to protocol errors, and load on network servers due to time spent processing both unsuccessful connections and retransmitted data. This will help to ensure the stability of the global Internet.

Examples of detected problems:

o TCPs that retransmit all unacknowledged data at a single time. This behavior greatly adds to Internet load, at a time when the network is already under stress. The combination can lead to congestion collapse.

o TCPs that misinitialize the congestion window, leading to potentially enormous bursts of traffic when new connections begin. Such burstiness can greatly stress Internet routers.

In the BOF, it was generally agreed that problems of this class need to be fixed.


The scope of this group must be carefully defined in order to ensure timely progress. To this end, TCP issues that still remain areas of research are considered out of scope for the WG. For example new improvements in congestion control algorithms are not within the WG scope. The WG will solicit input from the End-To-End research group of the IRTF on questions of whether a TCP implementation issue is considered research.

The major objectives of this group will be to :

Produce a compilation of known problems and their solutions. This will raise awareness of these issues.

Determine if any problems found are the result of ambiguities in the TCP specification. If necessary, produce a document which clarifies the specification.

Catalog existing TCP test suites, diagnostic tools, testing organizations, and procedures that can be used by implementors to improve their code, and produce a document enumerating them.

Goals and Milestones:

Feb 97


Working group formation. Decide on document editors.

Apr 97


Define schedule for producing the test suite catalog

Apr 97


First Internet-Draft of problems and fixes, and very rough first draft of catalogue of test suites.

Jul 97


Issue revised Internet-Draft documents.

Sep 97


Cut-off for determining whether clarification document is needed. If necessary, have interim meeting to focus effort on clarification document.

Dec 97


Submit Internet-Draft of test catalogue to IESG for publication as an RFC.

Dec 97


Submit Internet-Draft of problems and fixes to IESG for publication as an RFC.

Mar 98


Submit Internet-Draft clarifying RFCs 793, 1122, and 1323 to IESG for publication as an RFC.

Mar 98


CLose WG down.


No Request For Comments

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