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Research Letters in Communications
Volume 2008, Article ID 704878, 5 pages
Research Letter

A Simple Mechanism for Throttling High-Bandwidth Flows

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0407, USA

Received 9 July 2008; Accepted 31 August 2008

Academic Editor: Jun Bi

Copyright © 2008 Chia-Wei Chang and Bill Lin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This letter presents BREATHe, a simple packet dropping scheme for identifying and throttling unresponsive or misbehaving high-bandwidth flows during times of congestion. BREATHe is different from the existing active queue management techniques in that it uses heavy-hitter set analysis to identify highbandwidth flows rather than sampling or rate estimation. Specifically, BREATHe uses heavy-hitter set analysis to detect highbandwidth flows that exceed some target rate 𝑟 l i m i t and preferentially drop packets from these flows. We show that the proposed mechanism is effective at throttling high-bandwidth flows using a small amount of state and low-complexity operation.