Keeping order: determining the effect of TCP packet reordering

C.M. Arthur, D.A. Harle, A. Lehane

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

15 Citations (Scopus)


Packet reordering over TCP/IP networks is a phenomenon which is becoming increasingly important in network performance analysis. Reordering is a consequence of network equipment manufacturers increasing switch and link level parallelism on the Internet, seeking performance, reliability and economical improvements. This paper presents a methodology for simulating and measuring TCP reordering, providing an insight into the behaviours of the congestion and retransmission algorithms, and demonstrating that reordering has a measurable effect on performance. These measurements illustrate that there is a maximum reordering delay threshold that should be applied to packets, regardless of percentage reordering, below which reordering has negligible effects. Determination of this threshold, on a specific path, is key to ensuring that a specific switch or router does not introduce reordering to such an extent that it causes unnecessary retransmissions and an associated reduction in throughput.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventThird International Conference on Networking and Services - Athens, Greece
Duration: 19 Jun 200725 Jun 2007


ConferenceThird International Conference on Networking and Services
Abbreviated titleICNS 2007


  • TCP packet reordering
  • TCP/IP networks
  • retransmission algorithm


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