Performance evaluation of UDP traffic affected by TCP flows

Yoshiaki Hori, Hidenari Sawashima, Hideki Sunahara, Yuji Oie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


On wide area networks (WANs), UDP has likely been used for real-time applications, such as video and audio. UDP supplies minimized transmission delay by omitting the connection setup process, flow control, and retransmission. Meanwhile, more than 80 percent of the WAN resources are occupied by Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) traffic. As opposed to UDP's simplicity, TCP adopts a unique flow control mechanism with sliding windows. Hence, the quality of service (QoS) of real-time applications using UDP is affected by TCP traffic and its flow control mechanism whenever TCP and UDP share a bottleneck node. In this paper, the characteristics of UDP packet loss are investigated through simulations of WANs conveying UDP and TCP traffic simultaneously. In particular, the effects of TCP flow control on the packet loss of real-time audio are examined to discover how real-time audio should be transmitted with the minimum packet loss, while it is competing with TCP traffic for the bandwidth. The result obtained was that UDP packet loss occurs more often and successively when the congestion windows of TCP connections are synchronized. Especially in this case, the best performance of real-time audio applications can be obtained when they send-small sized packets without reducing their transmission rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1616-1622
Number of pages7
JournalIEICE Transactions on Communications
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Packet loss
  • Real-time comnumication
  • TCP
  • UDP
  • WAN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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