BBR-S: A Low-Latency BBR Modification for Fast-Varying Connections

Federico Chiariotti, Andrea Zanella, Stepan Kucera, Holger Claussen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


The new possibilities offered by 5G and beyond networks have led to a change in the focus of congestion control from capacity maximization for web browsing and file transfer to latency-sensitive interactive and real-time services, and consequently to a renaissance of research on the subject, whose most well-known result is Google's Bottleneck Bandwidth and Round-trip propagation time (BBR) algorithm. BBR's promise is to operate at the optimal working point of a connection, with the minimum Round Trip Time (RTT) and full capacity utilization, striking the balance between resource use efficiency and latency performance. However, while it provides significant performance improvements over legacy mechanisms such as Cubic, it can significantly overestimate the capacity of fast-varying mobile connections, leading to unreliable service and large potential swings in the RTT. Our BBR-S algorithm replaces the max filter that causes this overestimation issue with an Adaptive Tobit Kalman Filter (ATKF), an innovation on the Kalman filter that can deal with unknown noise statistics and saturated measurements, achieving a 40% reduction in the average RTT over BBR, which increases to 60% when considering worst-case latency, while maintaining over 95% of the throughput in 4G and 5G networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9438951
JournalIEEE Access
Pages (from-to)76364-76378
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2021


  • BBR
  • Congestion control
  • latency
  • transport protocols


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