Tragedy of the commons: more on multiple-connections

Simon E Spero (
Wed, 23 Nov 1994 17:37:54 +0100

I just did some packet traces comparing the effects of multiple connections
versus sending the same amount of data over a single connection. For the
test case I looked at, I discovered that the parallel connections did indeed
take less wall-clock time. However, they also caused an increase in the number
of data packets sent of over 22% due to retransmissions.

>From this we see that the mutli connect version increases the amount of
bandwidth available to a particular user *at the expense of reducing the total
amount of bandwidth available*.

The extra bandwidth for this user is coming at the expense of other users-
thus we have a classic instance of the tragedy of the commons.

Simon // Remember, caring means sharing.