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TCP Goes to Hollywood

Stephen McQuistin, Colin Perkins, and Marwan Fayed

Proceedings of the International Workshop on Network and Operating Systems Support for Digital Audio and Video (NOSSDAV), Klagenfurt, Austria, May 2016.

DOI:10.1145/2910642.2910648

Real-time multimedia applications use either TCP or UDP at the transport layer, yet neither of these protocols offer all of the features required. Deploying a new protocol that does offer these features is made difficult by ossification: firewalls, and other middleboxes, in the network expect TCP or UDP, and block other types of traffic. We present TCP Hollywood, a protocol that is wire-compatible with TCP, while offering an unordered, partially reliable message- oriented transport service that is well suited to multimedia applications. Analytical results show that TCP Hollywood extends the feasibility of using TCP for real-time multimedia applications, by reducing latency and increasing utility. Preliminary evaluations also show that TCP Hollywood is deployable on the public Internet, with safe failure modes. Measurements across all major UK fixed-line and cellular networks validate the possibility of deployment.

Download: mcquistin2016goes.pdf

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