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Versions: 00

Network Working Group                                        Bruce Davie
Internet Draft                                       Cisco Systems, Inc.
Expiration Date: August 1999
                                                            Steve Casner
                                                     Cisco Systems, Inc.

                                                         Carol Iturralde
                                                     Cisco Systems, Inc.

                                                              David Oran
                                                     Cisco Systems, Inc.

                                                         John Wroclawski
                                                                 MIT LCS

                                                           February 1999

       Integrated Services in the Presence of Compressible Flows


Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
   all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet- Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at


Davie, et al.                                                   [Page 1]

Internet Draft    draft-davie-intserv-compress-00.txt      February 1999

   An Integrated Services router performs admission control and resource
   allocation based on the information contained in a TSpec (among other
   things).  As currently defined, TSpecs convey information about the
   data rate (using a token bucket) and range of packet sizes of the
   flow in question. However, the TSpec may not be an accurate
   representation of the resources needed to support the reservation if
   the router is able to compress the data at the link level.  This
   draft describes an extension to the TSpec which enables a sender of
   potentially compressible data to provide hints to int-serv routers
   about the compressibility they may obtain.  Routers which support
   appropriate compression take advantage of the hint in their admission
   control decisions and resource allocation procedures; other routers
   ignore the hint.  An initial application of this approach is to
   notify routers performing RTP header compression that they may
   allocate fewer resources to RTP flows.


    1      Introduction  ...........................................   2
    2      Addition of a Hint to the Sender TSpec  .................   3
    3      Admission Control and Resource Allocation  ..............   4
    4      Object Format  ..........................................   8
    5      Backward Compatibility  .................................  10
    6      Security Considerations  ................................  11
    7      References  .............................................  11
    8      Author's Addresses  .....................................  12

1. Introduction

   In an Integrated Services network, RSVP [RFC 2205] may be used as a
   signalling protocol by which end nodes and network elements exchange
   information about resource requirements, resource availability, and
   the establishment and removal of resource reservations. The
   Integrated Services architecture currently defines two services,
   Controlled-Load [RFC 2211] and Guaranteed [RFC 2212]. When
   establishing a reservation using either service, RSVP requires a
   variety of information to be provided by the sender(s) and
   receiver(s) for a particular reservation which is used for the
   purposes of admission control and allocation of resources to the
   reservation. Some of this information is provided by the receiver in
   a FLOWSPEC object; some is provided by the sender in a SENDER_TSPEC
   object [RFC 2210].

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   A situation that is not handled well by the current specs arises when
   a router that is making an admission control decision is able to
   perform some sort of compression on the flow for which a reservation
   is requested. For example, suppose a router is able to perform
   IP/UDP/RTP header compression on one of its interfaces [CRTP]. The
   bandwidth needed to accommodate a compressible flow on that interface
   would be less than the amount contained in the SENDER_TSPEC. Thus the
   router might erroneously reject a reservation that could in fact have
   been accommodated. At the same time, the sender is not at liberty to
   reduce its TSpec to account for the compression of the data, since it
   does not know if the routers along the path are in fact able to
   perform compression. Furthermore, it is probable that only a subset
   of the routers on the path (e.g., those connected to low-speed serial
   links) will perform compression.

   This draft proposes that the sender provide a hint to network
   elements regarding the compressibility of the data stream that it
   will generate. Network elements may use this hint as an additional
   piece of data when making admission control and resource allocation

   This draft is restricted to the case where compression is performed
   only on a link-by-link basis, as with header compression. Other cases
   (e.g., transcoding, audio silence detection) which would affect the
   bandwidth consumed at all downstream nodes are for further study.  In
   these latter cases, it would be necessary to modify a sender TSpec as
   it is passed through a compressing node. In the proposal presented
   here, the sender TSpec that appears on the wire is never modified,
   just as specified in [RFC 2210].

2. Addition of a Hint to the Sender TSpec

   The appropriate place for a `compressibility hint' is the Sender
   TSpec. The reasons for this choice are:

      - The sender is the party who knows best what the data will look

      - Unlike the Adspec, the Sender TSpec is not modified in transit

      - From the perspective of RSVP, the Sender TSpec is  a set of
      opaque parameters that are passed to `traffic control' (admission
      control and resource allocation); the compressibility hint is just
      such a parameter.

Davie, et al.                                                   [Page 3]

Internet Draft    draft-davie-intserv-compress-00.txt      February 1999

   An alternative to putting this information in the TSpec would be to
   use an additional object in the RSVP PATH message. While this could
   be made to work for RSVP, it does not address the issue of how to get
   the same information to an intserv router when mechanisms other than
   RSVP are used to reserve resources. It would also imply a change to
   RSVP message processing just for the purposes of getting more
   information to entities that are logically not part of RSVP
   (admission control and resource allocation). The inclusion of the
   information in the TSpec seems preferable and more consistent with
   the Integated Services architecture.

   The contents of the hint are likely to vary depending on the exact
   scenario. The hint needs to tell the routers that receive it:

      - the type of compression that is possible on this flow (e.g.

      - enough information to enable a router to determine the likely
      compression ratio that may be achieved.

   In a simple case such as IP/UDP/RTP header compression, it may be
   sufficient to tell the routers nothing more than the fact that
   IP/UDP/RTP data is being sent. Knowing this fact, the maximum packet
   size of the flow (from the TSpec), and the local conditions at the
   router, may be sufficient to allow the router to determine the
   reduction in bandwidth that compression will allow. In other cases,
   it may be helpful or necessary for the sender to include additional
   quantitative information to assist in the calculation of the
   compression ratio. To handle these cases, additional parameters
   containing various amounts of information may be added to the sender
   TSpec. Details of the encoding of these parameters, following the
   approach originally described in [RFC 2210] are described below.

3. Admission Control and Resource Allocation

   Integrated Services routers make admission control and resource
   allocation decisions based on, among other things, information in the
   sender TSpec. If a router receives a sender TSpec which contains a
   compressibility hint, it may use the hint to calculate a `compressed
   TSpec' which can be used as input to the admission control and
   resource allocation processes in place of the TSpec provided by the
   sender. To make this concrete, consider the following simple example.
   A router receives a reservation request for controlled load service

Davie, et al.                                                   [Page 4]

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      - The Sender TSpec and Receiver TSpec contain identical token
      bucket parameters;

      - The rate parameter in the token bucket (r) is 48 kbps;

      - The token bucket depth (b) is 120 bytes;

      - The maximum packet size (M) in the TSpecs is 120 bytes;

      - The minimum policed unit (m) is 64 bytes;

      - The Sender TSpec contains a compressibility hint indicating that
      the data is IP/UDP/RTP;

      - The compressibility hint includes a compression factor of 0.7,
      meaning that IP/UDP/RTP header compression will cause a reduction
      in bandwidth consumed at the link level by a factor of 0.7 (the
      result of compressing 40 bytes of IP/UDP/RTP header to 4 bytes on
      a 120 byte packet)

      - The interface on which the reservation is to be installed is
      able to perform IP/UDP/RTP header compression.

   The router may thus conclude that it can scale down the token bucket
   parameters r and b by a factor of 0.7, i.e., to 33.6 kbps and 84
   bytes respectively. M may be scaled down by the same factor (to 84
   bytes), but a different calculation should be used for m. If the
   sender actually sends a packet of size m, its header may be
   compressed from 40 bytes to 4, thus reducing the packet to 28 bytes;
   this value should be used for m.

   Note that if the source always sends packets of the same size and
   IP/UDP/RTP always works perfectly, the compression factor is not
   strictly needed. The router can independently determine that it can
   compress the 40 bytes of IP/UDP/RTP header to 4 bytes (with high
   probability). To determine the worst-case (smallest) gain provided by
   compression, it can assume that the sender always sends maximum sized
   packets at 48 kbps, i.e. a 120 byte packet every 20 milliseconds. The
   router can conclude that these packets would be compressed to 84
   bytes, yielding a token bucket rate of 33.6 kbps and a token bucket
   depth of 84 bytes as before. If the sender is willing to allow an
   independent calculation of compression gain by the router, the
   explicit compression factor may be ommitted from the TSpec. Details
   of the Tspec encoding are provided below.

   To generalize the above discussion, assume that the Sender TSpec
   consists of values (r, b, p, M, m), that the explicit compression

Davie, et al.                                                   [Page 5]

Internet Draft    draft-davie-intserv-compress-00.txt      February 1999

   factor provided by the sender is f, and that the number of bytes
   saved by compression is N, independent of packet size. The parameters
   in the compressed TSpec would be:

     r' = r * f
     b' = b * f
     p' = p
     M' = M-N
     m' = m-N

   The calculations for M' and m' hold only in the case where the
   compression algorithm reduces packets by a certain number of bytes
   independent of content or length of the packet, as is true for header
   compression. Other compression algorithms may not have this property.

   All these adjusted values are used in the compressed TSpec. The
   router's admission control and resource allocation algorithms should
   behave as if the sender TSpec contained those values. [RFC 2205]
   provides a set of rules by which sender and receiver Tspecs are
   combined to calculate a single `effective' TSpec that is passed to
   admission control. When a reservation covering multiple senders is to
   be installed, it is necessary to reduce each sender TSpec by its
   appropriate compression factor. The set of sender TSpecs that apply
   to a single reservation on an interface are added together to form
   the effective sender TSpec, which is passed to traffic control. The
   effective receiver TSpec need not be modified; traffic control takes
   the greatest lower bound of these two Tspecs when making its
   admission control and resource allocation decisions.

   The handling of the receiver's RSpec depends on whether controlled
   load or guaranteed service is used. In the case of controlled load,
   no additional processing of the RSpec is needed. However, a
   guaranteed service RSpec contains a rate term R which does need to be
   adjusted downwards to account for compression. To determine how R
   should be adjusted, we note that the receiver has chose R to meet a
   certain delay goal, and that the terms in the delay equation that
   depend on R are b/R and C/R (when the peak rate is large). The bucket
   size b in this case is the sum of the bucket sizes of all the senders
   for this reservation, and each of these numbers has been scaled down
   by the appropriate compression factor. Thus, R should be scaled down
   by the ratio

      f_avg = (b1*f1 + b2*f2 + ... + bn*fn)/(b1 + b2 + ... bn)

Davie, et al.                                                   [Page 6]

Internet Draft    draft-davie-intserv-compress-00.txt      February 1999

   where bk is the bucket size of sender k and fk is the corresponding
   compression factor for this sender.  Note that this is equivalent to
   multiplying R by f in the case where all senders use the same
   compression factor f.

   To prevent an increase in delay caused by the C/R term when the
   reduced value of R is used for the reservation, it is necessary for
   this hop to `inflate' its value of C by dividing it by f_avg. This
   will cause the contribution to delay made by this hop's C term to be
   what the receiver would expect when it chooses its value of C.  This
   inflation must of course only be performed when sending Adspecs over
   links on which the appropriate compression algorithm is enabled.

   There are certain risks in adjusting the resource requirements
   downwards for the purposes of admission control and resource
   allocation. Most compression algorithms are not completely
   deterministic, and thus there is a risk that a flow will turn out to
   be less compressible than had been assumed by admission control. This
   risk is reduced by the use of the explicit compression factor
   provided by the sender, and may be minimized if the router makes
   worst case assumptions about the amount of compression that may be
   achieved. This is somewhat analogous to the tradeoff between making
   worst case assumptions when performing admission control or making
   more optimistic assumptions, as in the case of measurement-based
   admission control. If a flow turns out to be less compressible that
   had been assumed when performing admission control, any extra traffic
   will need to be policed according to normal intserv rules. For
   example, if the router assumed that the 48 kbps stream above could be
   compressed to 33.6 kbps and it was ultimately possible to compress it
   to 35 kbps, the extra 1.4 kbps would be treated as excess. The exact
   treatment of such excess is service dependent.

   A similar scenario may arise if  a sender claims that data for a
   certain session is compressible when in fact it is not, or overstates
   the extent of its compressibility. This might cause the flow to be
   erroneously admitted, and would cause insufficient resources to be
   allocated to it. To prevent such behavior from adversely affecting
   other reserved flows, any flow that sends a compressibility hint
   should be policed (in any router that has made use of the hint for
   its admission control) on the assumption that it is indeed
   compressible, i.e. using the compressed TSpec. That is, if the flow
   is found to be less compressible than advertised, the extra traffic
   that must be forwarded  by the router above the compressed TSpec will
   be policed according to intserv rules appropriate for the service.

   Note that RSVP does not generally require flows to be policed at
   every hop. To quote [RFC 2205]

Davie, et al.                                                   [Page 7]

Internet Draft    draft-davie-intserv-compress-00.txt      February 1999

      Some QoS services may require traffic policing at some or all of
      (1) the edge of the network, (2) a merging point for data from
       multiple senders, and/or (3) a branch point where traffic flow
      from upstream may be greater than the downstream reservation being
      requested.  RSVP knows where such points occur and must so
      indicate to the traffic control mechanism.

   For the purposes of policing, a router which makes use of the
   compressibility hint in a sender TSpec should behave as if it is at
   the edge of the network, because it is in a position to receive
   traffic from a sender that, while it passed through policing at the
   real network edge, may still need to be policed if the amount of data
   sent exceeds the amount described by the compressed Tspec.

4. Object Format

   The compressibility hint may be included in the sender TSpec using
   the encoding rules of Appendix A in [RFC 2210]. The complete sender
   TSpec is as follows:

Davie, et al.                                                   [Page 8]

Internet Draft    draft-davie-intserv-compress-00.txt      February 1999

        31           24 23           16 15            8 7             0
   1   | 0 (a) |    reserved           |            10 (b)             |
   2   |    1  (c)     |0| reserved    |             9 (d)             |
   3   |   127 (e)     |    0 (f)      |             5 (g)             |
   4   |  Token Bucket Rate [r] (32-bit IEEE floating point number)    |
   5   |  Token Bucket Size [b] (32-bit IEEE floating point number)    |
   6   |  Peak Data Rate [p] (32-bit IEEE floating point number)       |
   7   |  Minimum Policed Unit [m] (32-bit integer)                    |
   8   |  Maximum Packet Size [M]  (32-bit integer)                    |
   9   |   126 (h)     |    0 (i)      |             2 (j)             |
   10  |     Hint (assigned number)                                    |
   11  |  Compression factor [f] (32-bit IEEE floating point number)   |

        (a) - Message format version number (0)
        (b) - Overall length (10 words not including header)
        (c) - Service header, service number 1 (default/global information)
        (d) - Length of service 1 data, 9 words not including header
        (e) - Parameter ID, parameter 127 (Token_Bucket_TSpec)
        (f) - Parameter 127 flags (none set)
        (g) - Parameter 127 length, 5 words not including header
        (h) - Parameter ID, parameter 126 (Compression_Hint)
        (i) - Parameter 126 flags (none set)
        (j) - Parameter 126 length, 2 words not including header

   The difference between this TSpec and the one described in [RFC 2210]
   is that the overall length contained in the first word is increased
   by 3, as is the length of the `service 1 data', and the original
   TSpec parameters are followed by a new parameter, the compressibility
   hint. This parameter contains the standard parameter header, and an
   assigned number indicating the type of compression that is possible
   on this data. Different values of the hint would imply different
   compression algorithms may be applied to the data. We propose that
   the following hint values be assigned initially:

Davie, et al.                                                   [Page 9]

Internet Draft    draft-davie-intserv-compress-00.txt      February 1999

       - hint = 1: IP/UDP/RTP data that may be compressed according to

       - hint = 2: IP/UDP data

       - hint = 3: IP/TCP data that may be compressed according to [RFC

   Following the hint value is the compression factor f, expressed as a
   32 bit IEEE floating point number. The valid range for this factor is
   (0,1]. A sender that does not know what value to use here or wishes
   to leave the compression factor calculation to the routers'
   discretion may use the reserved value 0 to indicate this fact.

   In some cases, additional quantitative information about the traffic
   may be required to enable a router to determine the amount of
   compression possible. In this case, a different encoding of the
   parameter would be required.

   Note that the Compression_Hint is, like the Token_Bucket_Tspec, not
   specific to a single service, and thus has a parameter value less
   than 128. It is also included as part of the default/global
   information (service number 1).

5. Backward Compatibility

   It is desirable that an intserv router which receives this new TSpec
   format and does not understand the compressibility hint should
   silently ignore the hint rather than rejecting the entire TSpec (or
   the message containing it) as malformed. While [RFC 2210] clearly
   specifies the format of TSpecs in a way that they can be parsed even
   when they contain unknown parameters, it does not specify what action
   should be taken when unknown objects are received. Thus it is quite
   possible that some RSVP implementations will discard PATH messages
   containing a TSpec with the compressibility hint. In such a case, the
   router should send a PathErr message to the sending host. The message
   should indicate a malformed TSpec (Error code 21, Sub-code 04). The
   host may conclude that the hint caused the problem and send a new
   PATH without the hint.

   For the purposes of this draft, it would be preferable if unknown
   TSpec parameters could be silently ignored. However, it is possible
   that some future modifications to [RFC 2210] will require unknown
   parameter types to cause an error response. This situation is
   analogous to RSVP's handling of unknown objects, which allows for

Davie, et al.                                                  [Page 10]

Internet Draft    draft-davie-intserv-compress-00.txt      February 1999

   three different response to an unknown object, based on the highest
   two bits of the Class-Num. We therefore propose that parameter
   numbers of the form x1xxxxxx should be silently ignored if
   unrecognized, while parameter numbers of the form x0xxxxxx should
   cause an error response if unrecognized. (The meaning of the highest
   order bit is already fixed by [RFC 2216].) In the case where a
   parameter is silently ignored, the node behaves as if that parameter
   were not present, but leaves the unknown parameter intact in the
   object that it forwards. (A third possibility exists, which is to
   remove the unrecognized parameter before forwarding, but this does
   not seem to be useful.)

6. Security Considerations

   The extensions defined in this document pose essentially the same
   security risks as those of [RFC 2210]. The risk that a sender will
   falsely declare his data to be compressible is equivalent to the
   sender providing an insufficiently large TSpec and is dealt with in
   the same way.

7. References

   [CRTP]  Casner, S., and Jacobson, V. Compressing IP/UDP/RTP Headers
   for Low-Speed Serial Links, Internet Draft, draft-ietf-avt-crtp-
   05.txt, July 1998.

   [RFC 1144] Jacobson, V. TCP/IP Compression for Low-Speed Serial
   Links, RFC 1144, Feb. 1990.

   [RFC 2205] Braden, R. et al. Resource ReSerVation Protocol (RSVP) --
   Version 1 Functional Specification, RFC 2205, Sep. 1997.

   [RFC 2210] Wroclawski, J. The Use of RSVP with IETF Integrated
   Services, RFC 2210, Sep. 1997.

   [RFC 2211] Wroclawski, J. Specification of the Controlled-Load
   Network Element Service, RFC 2211, Sep. 1997.

   [RFC 2212]  Shenker, S., Partridge, C., and Guerin, R. Specification
   of Guaranteed Quality of Service, RFC 2212, Sep. 1997.

   [RFC 2216] Shenker, S., and Wroclawski, J. Network Element Service
   Specification Template, RFC 2216, Sep. 1997.

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8. Author's Addresses

   Bruce Davie
   Cisco Systems, Inc.
   250 Apollo Drive
   Chelmsford, MA, 01824

   E-mail: bsd@cisco.com

   Stephen L. Casner
   Cisco Systems, Inc.
   170 Tasman Drive
   San Jose, CA, 95134

   E-mail: casner@cisco.com

   Carol Iturralde
   Cisco Systems, Inc.
   250 Apollo Drive
   Chelmsford, MA, 01824

   E-mail: cei@cisco.com

   Dave Oran
   Cisco Systems, Inc.
   170 Tasman Drive
   San Jose, CA, 95134

   E-mail: oran@cisco.com

   John Wroclawski
   MIT Laboratory for Computer Science
   545 Technology Sq.
   Cambridge, MA  02139

   E-mail: jtw@lcs.mit.edu

Davie, et al.                                                  [Page 12]

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