Improvement of Flow Control (RFC0210)
Original Publication Date: 1971-Aug-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Request for Comments # 210 W. Conrad
Categories C.4 Harvard
NIC 7189 16 August 71
Improvement of Flow Control
The current "give back" - "return" scheme seems to put the cart before
the horse in that the "return" command indicates the amount of space
the sending host is returning rather than the amount of space it has
left after decrementing by the amount specified in the "give back"
command. Considering the fact that allocation counters at sending and
receiving hosts may get out of synchronization and the fact that the
receiving host has a preemptive priority in the allocation of its
resources, it is only logical that the receiving host be able to find
out exactly how much of its buffer space a sending host thinks it can
If the "return" command is to accurately reflect a sending host's
current allocation, and if successive "give backs" are to produce
"return" commands which can be properly interpreted, certain race
conditions must be avoided. A "give back" must be answered by a
"return" and no more "give backs" can be issued until that "return" is
received. In some sense, a "return" command as here proposed is
really a give back reply, and, perhaps, should implemented under that
name. On the sending side, the "return" command must not be issued as
long as a data RFNM is awaited on the link to which the "return"
refers. As soon as the net is clear of data messages, the "return" may
be sent and data transmission may continue when the RFNM for this
message containing the "return" command is received.
The current "give back" command uses fractions and has a format
different from the "allocate" and "return" commands making processing
unnecessarily complicated. By adopting the convention that allocations
can not be decremented below zero, one can safely specify absolute
decrements in a format like that of the "allocate" command. If the
receiving host's estimate of a suitable decrement is inaccurate, no
harm is done and the "return" command in response to the "give back"
provides immediate corrective information.
1 "Return" specifies amount Provides more pertinent
of space left after information and a means
decrementing. of resynchronization other
than closing connection.
2 "Give Back" must get Provide more accurate
"return" in reply and allocation information
"return" must not be by eliminating race