Kathie Nichols wrote in pointing out an insightful talk of Van Jacobson’s entitled A Rant on Queues. She also points out:
Also, as someone who spent a lot of time examining the dysfunctionality of 93 RED and various changes Van came up with in response to the problems: examine any AQM very carefully. It’s likely not working the way you think it is. What I learned is that almost anything works with nicely behaved long-lived TCPs and that almost nothing works well with mixtures of mice and elephants. It’s also instructive to examine what is really happening when your AQM drops packets. We found that 93 RED spent a lot of time doing what we called “forced drops” which means you are in the “drop everything” part of your control law. What we would find with 93 RED were a bunch of back to back drops. There’s tons of stuff on this in our unfinished “RED in a different light” paper, but look at the first 10 slides or so of
“We have Met the Enemy and [S/]He is Us”:A View of Internet Research and Analysis and you’ll see some of it without wading through a lot of boring prose. So, please, please, don’t make a “fix” that is perhaps worse than the original problem.
I think we need to take Kathie’s first hand experience to heart.
Richard Scheffenegger has done a quick NS2 simulation/animation of bufferbloat well worth a quick look. Helping him out on that would be a great service.
Dave Täht came up with an interesting idea of possibly using NTP data to get a view into bufferbloat on a global scale. In short, bloat badly disturbs RTT’s and that may be a way to see what’s going on. He’s calling it the “cosmic background bufferbloat detector“.