3.5. Closing a Connection CLOSE is an operation meaning "I have no more data to send." The notion of closing a full-duplex connection is subject to ambiguous interpretation, of course, since it may not be obvious how to treat the receiving side of the connection. We have chosen to treat CLOSE in a simplex fashion. The user who CLOSEs may continue to RECEIVE until he is told that the other side has CLOSED also. Thus, a program could initiate several SENDs followed by a CLOSE, and then continue to RECEIVE until signaled that a RECEIVE failed because the other side has CLOSED. We assume that the TCP will signal a user, even if no RECEIVEs are outstanding, that the other side has closed, so the user can terminate his side gracefully. A TCP will reliably deliver all buffers SENT before the connection was CLOSED so a user who expects no data in return need only wait to hear the connection was CLOSED successfully to know that all his data was received at the destination TCP. Users must keep reading connections they close for sending until the TCP says no more data.
There are essentially three cases: 1) The user initiates by telling the TCP to CLOSE the connection 2) The remote TCP initiates by sending a FIN control signal 3) Both users CLOSE simultaneously Case 1: Local user initiates the close In this case, a FIN segment can be constructed and placed on the outgoing segment queue. No further SENDs from the user will be accepted by the TCP, and it enters the FIN-WAIT-1 state. RECEIVEs are allowed in this state. All segments preceding and including FIN will be retransmitted until acknowledged. When the other TCP has both acknowledged the FIN and sent a FIN of its own, the first TCP can ACK this FIN. Note that a TCP receiving a FIN will ACK but not send its own FIN until its user has CLOSED the connection also. Case 2: TCP receives a FIN from the network If an unsolicited FIN arrives from the network, the receiving TCP can ACK it and tell the user that the connection is closing. The user will respond with a CLOSE, upon which the TCP can send a FIN to the other TCP after sending any remaining data. The TCP then waits until its own FIN is acknowledged whereupon it deletes the connection. If an ACK is not forthcoming, after the user timeout the connection is aborted and the user is told. Case 3: both users close simultaneously A simultaneous CLOSE by users at both ends of a connection causes FIN segments to be exchanged. When all segments preceding the FINs have been processed and acknowledged, each TCP can ACK the FIN it has received. Both will, upon receiving these ACKs, delete the connection.
TCP A TCP B 1. ESTABLISHED ESTABLISHED 2. (Close) FIN-WAIT-1 --> <SEQ=100><ACK=300><CTL=FIN,ACK> --> CLOSE-WAIT 3. FIN-WAIT-2 <-- <SEQ=300><ACK=101><CTL=ACK> <-- CLOSE-WAIT 4. (Close) TIME-WAIT <-- <SEQ=300><ACK=101><CTL=FIN,ACK> <-- LAST-ACK 5. TIME-WAIT --> <SEQ=101><ACK=301><CTL=ACK> --> CLOSED 6. (2 MSL) CLOSED Normal Close Sequence Figure 13. TCP A TCP B 1. ESTABLISHED ESTABLISHED 2. (Close) (Close) FIN-WAIT-1 --> <SEQ=100><ACK=300><CTL=FIN,ACK> ... FIN-WAIT-1 <-- <SEQ=300><ACK=100><CTL=FIN,ACK> <-- ... <SEQ=100><ACK=300><CTL=FIN,ACK> --> 3. CLOSING --> <SEQ=101><ACK=301><CTL=ACK> ... CLOSING <-- <SEQ=301><ACK=101><CTL=ACK> <-- ... <SEQ=101><ACK=301><CTL=ACK> --> 4. TIME-WAIT TIME-WAIT (2 MSL) (2 MSL) CLOSED CLOSED Simultaneous Close Sequence Figure 14.
3.6. Precedence and Security The intent is that connection be allowed only between ports operating with exactly the same security and compartment values and at the higher of the precedence level requested by the two ports. The precedence and security parameters used in TCP are exactly those defined in the Internet Protocol (IP) . Throughout this TCP specification the term "security/compartment" is intended to indicate the security parameters used in IP including security, compartment, user group, and handling restriction. A connection attempt with mismatched security/compartment values or a lower precedence value must be rejected by sending a reset. Rejecting a connection due to too low a precedence only occurs after an acknowledgment of the SYN has been received. Note that TCP modules which operate only at the default value of precedence will still have to check the precedence of incoming segments and possibly raise the precedence level they use on the connection. The security paramaters may be used even in a non-secure environment (the values would indicate unclassified data), thus hosts in non-secure environments must be prepared to receive the security parameters, though they need not send them. 3.7. Data Communication Once the connection is established data is communicated by the exchange of segments. Because segments may be lost due to errors (checksum test failure), or network congestion, TCP uses retransmission (after a timeout) to ensure delivery of every segment. Duplicate segments may arrive due to network or TCP retransmission. As discussed in the section on sequence numbers the TCP performs certain tests on the sequence and acknowledgment numbers in the segments to verify their acceptability. The sender of data keeps track of the next sequence number to use in the variable SND.NXT. The receiver of data keeps track of the next sequence number to expect in the variable RCV.NXT. The sender of data keeps track of the oldest unacknowledged sequence number in the variable SND.UNA. If the data flow is momentarily idle and all data sent has been acknowledged then the three variables will be equal. When the sender creates a segment and transmits it the sender advances SND.NXT. When the receiver accepts a segment it advances RCV.NXT and sends an acknowledgment. When the data sender receives an
acknowledgment it advances SND.UNA. The extent to which the values of these variables differ is a measure of the delay in the communication. The amount by which the variables are advanced is the length of the data in the segment. Note that once in the ESTABLISHED state all segments must carry current acknowledgment information. The CLOSE user call implies a push function, as does the FIN control flag in an incoming segment. Retransmission Timeout Because of the variability of the networks that compose an internetwork system and the wide range of uses of TCP connections the retransmission timeout must be dynamically determined. One procedure for determining a retransmission time out is given here as an illustration. An Example Retransmission Timeout Procedure Measure the elapsed time between sending a data octet with a particular sequence number and receiving an acknowledgment that covers that sequence number (segments sent do not have to match segments received). This measured elapsed time is the Round Trip Time (RTT). Next compute a Smoothed Round Trip Time (SRTT) as: SRTT = ( ALPHA * SRTT ) + ((1-ALPHA) * RTT) and based on this, compute the retransmission timeout (RTO) as: RTO = min[UBOUND,max[LBOUND,(BETA*SRTT)]] where UBOUND is an upper bound on the timeout (e.g., 1 minute), LBOUND is a lower bound on the timeout (e.g., 1 second), ALPHA is a smoothing factor (e.g., .8 to .9), and BETA is a delay variance factor (e.g., 1.3 to 2.0). The Communication of Urgent Information The objective of the TCP urgent mechanism is to allow the sending user to stimulate the receiving user to accept some urgent data and to permit the receiving TCP to indicate to the receiving user when all the currently known urgent data has been received by the user. This mechanism permits a point in the data stream to be designated as the end of urgent information. Whenever this point is in advance of the receive sequence number (RCV.NXT) at the receiving TCP, that TCP must tell the user to go into "urgent mode"; when the receive sequence number catches up to the urgent pointer, the TCP must tell user to go
into "normal mode". If the urgent pointer is updated while the user is in "urgent mode", the update will be invisible to the user. The method employs a urgent field which is carried in all segments transmitted. The URG control flag indicates that the urgent field is meaningful and must be added to the segment sequence number to yield the urgent pointer. The absence of this flag indicates that there is no urgent data outstanding. To send an urgent indication the user must also send at least one data octet. If the sending user also indicates a push, timely delivery of the urgent information to the destination process is enhanced. Managing the Window The window sent in each segment indicates the range of sequence numbers the sender of the window (the data receiver) is currently prepared to accept. There is an assumption that this is related to the currently available data buffer space available for this connection. Indicating a large window encourages transmissions. If more data arrives than can be accepted, it will be discarded. This will result in excessive retransmissions, adding unnecessarily to the load on the network and the TCPs. Indicating a small window may restrict the transmission of data to the point of introducing a round trip delay between each new segment transmitted. The mechanisms provided allow a TCP to advertise a large window and to subsequently advertise a much smaller window without having accepted that much data. This, so called "shrinking the window," is strongly discouraged. The robustness principle dictates that TCPs will not shrink the window themselves, but will be prepared for such behavior on the part of other TCPs. The sending TCP must be prepared to accept from the user and send at least one octet of new data even if the send window is zero. The sending TCP must regularly retransmit to the receiving TCP even when the window is zero. Two minutes is recommended for the retransmission interval when the window is zero. This retransmission is essential to guarantee that when either TCP has a zero window the re-opening of the window will be reliably reported to the other. When the receiving TCP has a zero window and a segment arrives it must still send an acknowledgment showing its next expected sequence number and current window (zero). The sending TCP packages the data to be transmitted into segments
which fit the current window, and may repackage segments on the retransmission queue. Such repackaging is not required, but may be helpful. In a connection with a one-way data flow, the window information will be carried in acknowledgment segments that all have the same sequence number so there will be no way to reorder them if they arrive out of order. This is not a serious problem, but it will allow the window information to be on occasion temporarily based on old reports from the data receiver. A refinement to avoid this problem is to act on the window information from segments that carry the highest acknowledgment number (that is segments with acknowledgment number equal or greater than the highest previously received). The window management procedure has significant influence on the communication performance. The following comments are suggestions to implementers. Window Management Suggestions Allocating a very small window causes data to be transmitted in many small segments when better performance is achieved using fewer large segments. One suggestion for avoiding small windows is for the receiver to defer updating a window until the additional allocation is at least X percent of the maximum allocation possible for the connection (where X might be 20 to 40). Another suggestion is for the sender to avoid sending small segments by waiting until the window is large enough before sending data. If the the user signals a push function then the data must be sent even if it is a small segment. Note that the acknowledgments should not be delayed or unnecessary retransmissions will result. One strategy would be to send an acknowledgment when a small segment arrives (with out updating the window information), and then to send another acknowledgment with new window information when the window is larger. The segment sent to probe a zero window may also begin a break up of transmitted data into smaller and smaller segments. If a segment containing a single data octet sent to probe a zero window is accepted, it consumes one octet of the window now available. If the sending TCP simply sends as much as it can whenever the window is non zero, the transmitted data will be broken into alternating big and small segments. As time goes on, occasional pauses in the receiver making window allocation available will
result in breaking the big segments into a small and not quite so big pair. And after a while the data transmission will be in mostly small segments. The suggestion here is that the TCP implementations need to actively attempt to combine small window allocations into larger windows, since the mechanisms for managing the window tend to lead to many small windows in the simplest minded implementations. 3.8. Interfaces There are of course two interfaces of concern: the user/TCP interface and the TCP/lower-level interface. We have a fairly elaborate model of the user/TCP interface, but the interface to the lower level protocol module is left unspecified here, since it will be specified in detail by the specification of the lowel level protocol. For the case that the lower level is IP we note some of the parameter values that TCPs might use. User/TCP Interface The following functional description of user commands to the TCP is, at best, fictional, since every operating system will have different facilities. Consequently, we must warn readers that different TCP implementations may have different user interfaces. However, all TCPs must provide a certain minimum set of services to guarantee that all TCP implementations can support the same protocol hierarchy. This section specifies the functional interfaces required of all TCP implementations. TCP User Commands The following sections functionally characterize a USER/TCP interface. The notation used is similar to most procedure or function calls in high level languages, but this usage is not meant to rule out trap type service calls (e.g., SVCs, UUOs, EMTs). The user commands described below specify the basic functions the TCP must perform to support interprocess communication. Individual implementations must define their own exact format, and may provide combinations or subsets of the basic functions in single calls. In particular, some implementations may wish to automatically OPEN a connection on the first SEND or RECEIVE issued by the user for a given connection.
In providing interprocess communication facilities, the TCP must not only accept commands, but must also return information to the processes it serves. The latter consists of: (a) general information about a connection (e.g., interrupts, remote close, binding of unspecified foreign socket). (b) replies to specific user commands indicating success or various types of failure. Open Format: OPEN (local port, foreign socket, active/passive [, timeout] [, precedence] [, security/compartment] [, options]) -> local connection name We assume that the local TCP is aware of the identity of the processes it serves and will check the authority of the process to use the connection specified. Depending upon the implementation of the TCP, the local network and TCP identifiers for the source address will either be supplied by the TCP or the lower level protocol (e.g., IP). These considerations are the result of concern about security, to the extent that no TCP be able to masquerade as another one, and so on. Similarly, no process can masquerade as another without the collusion of the TCP. If the active/passive flag is set to passive, then this is a call to LISTEN for an incoming connection. A passive open may have either a fully specified foreign socket to wait for a particular connection or an unspecified foreign socket to wait for any call. A fully specified passive call can be made active by the subsequent execution of a SEND. A transmission control block (TCB) is created and partially filled in with data from the OPEN command parameters. On an active OPEN command, the TCP will begin the procedure to synchronize (i.e., establish) the connection at once. The timeout, if present, permits the caller to set up a timeout for all data submitted to TCP. If data is not successfully delivered to the destination within the timeout period, the TCP will abort the connection. The present global default is five minutes. The TCP or some component of the operating system will verify the users authority to open a connection with the specified
precedence or security/compartment. The absence of precedence or security/compartment specification in the OPEN call indicates the default values must be used. TCP will accept incoming requests as matching only if the security/compartment information is exactly the same and only if the precedence is equal to or higher than the precedence requested in the OPEN call. The precedence for the connection is the higher of the values requested in the OPEN call and received from the incoming request, and fixed at that value for the life of the connection.Implementers may want to give the user control of this precedence negotiation. For example, the user might be allowed to specify that the precedence must be exactly matched, or that any attempt to raise the precedence be confirmed by the user. A local connection name will be returned to the user by the TCP. The local connection name can then be used as a short hand term for the connection defined by the <local socket, foreign socket> pair. Send Format: SEND (local connection name, buffer address, byte count, PUSH flag, URGENT flag [,timeout]) This call causes the data contained in the indicated user buffer to be sent on the indicated connection. If the connection has not been opened, the SEND is considered an error. Some implementations may allow users to SEND first; in which case, an automatic OPEN would be done. If the calling process is not authorized to use this connection, an error is returned. If the PUSH flag is set, the data must be transmitted promptly to the receiver, and the PUSH bit will be set in the last TCP segment created from the buffer. If the PUSH flag is not set, the data may be combined with data from subsequent SENDs for transmission efficiency. If the URGENT flag is set, segments sent to the destination TCP will have the urgent pointer set. The receiving TCP will signal the urgent condition to the receiving process if the urgent pointer indicates that data preceding the urgent pointer has not been consumed by the receiving process. The purpose of urgent is to stimulate the receiver to process the urgent data and to indicate to the receiver when all the currently known urgent
data has been received. The number of times the sending user's TCP signals urgent will not necessarily be equal to the number of times the receiving user will be notified of the presence of urgent data. If no foreign socket was specified in the OPEN, but the connection is established (e.g., because a LISTENing connection has become specific due to a foreign segment arriving for the local socket), then the designated buffer is sent to the implied foreign socket. Users who make use of OPEN with an unspecified foreign socket can make use of SEND without ever explicitly knowing the foreign socket address. However, if a SEND is attempted before the foreign socket becomes specified, an error will be returned. Users can use the STATUS call to determine the status of the connection. In some implementations the TCP may notify the user when an unspecified socket is bound. If a timeout is specified, the current user timeout for this connection is changed to the new one. In the simplest implementation, SEND would not return control to the sending process until either the transmission was complete or the timeout had been exceeded. However, this simple method is both subject to deadlocks (for example, both sides of the connection might try to do SENDs before doing any RECEIVEs) and offers poor performance, so it is not recommended. A more sophisticated implementation would return immediately to allow the process to run concurrently with network I/O, and, furthermore, to allow multiple SENDs to be in progress. Multiple SENDs are served in first come, first served order, so the TCP will queue those it cannot service immediately. We have implicitly assumed an asynchronous user interface in which a SEND later elicits some kind of SIGNAL or pseudo-interrupt from the serving TCP. An alternative is to return a response immediately. For instance, SENDs might return immediate local acknowledgment, even if the segment sent had not been acknowledged by the distant TCP. We could optimistically assume eventual success. If we are wrong, the connection will close anyway due to the timeout. In implementations of this kind (synchronous), there will still be some asynchronous signals, but these will deal with the connection itself, and not with specific segments or buffers. In order for the process to distinguish among error or success indications for different SENDs, it might be appropriate for the
buffer address to be returned along with the coded response to the SEND request. TCP-to-user signals are discussed below, indicating the information which should be returned to the calling process. Receive Format: RECEIVE (local connection name, buffer address, byte count) -> byte count, urgent flag, push flag This command allocates a receiving buffer associated with the specified connection. If no OPEN precedes this command or the calling process is not authorized to use this connection, an error is returned. In the simplest implementation, control would not return to the calling program until either the buffer was filled, or some error occurred, but this scheme is highly subject to deadlocks. A more sophisticated implementation would permit several RECEIVEs to be outstanding at once. These would be filled as segments arrive. This strategy permits increased throughput at the cost of a more elaborate scheme (possibly asynchronous) to notify the calling program that a PUSH has been seen or a buffer filled. If enough data arrive to fill the buffer before a PUSH is seen, the PUSH flag will not be set in the response to the RECEIVE. The buffer will be filled with as much data as it can hold. If a PUSH is seen before the buffer is filled the buffer will be returned partially filled and PUSH indicated. If there is urgent data the user will have been informed as soon as it arrived via a TCP-to-user signal. The receiving user should thus be in "urgent mode". If the URGENT flag is on, additional urgent data remains. If the URGENT flag is off, this call to RECEIVE has returned all the urgent data, and the user may now leave "urgent mode". Note that data following the urgent pointer (non-urgent data) cannot be delivered to the user in the same buffer with preceeding urgent data unless the boundary is clearly marked for the user. To distinguish among several outstanding RECEIVEs and to take care of the case that a buffer is not completely filled, the return code is accompanied by both a buffer pointer and a byte count indicating the actual length of the data received. Alternative implementations of RECEIVE might have the TCP
allocate buffer storage, or the TCP might share a ring buffer with the user. Close Format: CLOSE (local connection name) This command causes the connection specified to be closed. If the connection is not open or the calling process is not authorized to use this connection, an error is returned. Closing connections is intended to be a graceful operation in the sense that outstanding SENDs will be transmitted (and retransmitted), as flow control permits, until all have been serviced. Thus, it should be acceptable to make several SEND calls, followed by a CLOSE, and expect all the data to be sent to the destination. It should also be clear that users should continue to RECEIVE on CLOSING connections, since the other side may be trying to transmit the last of its data. Thus, CLOSE means "I have no more to send" but does not mean "I will not receive any more." It may happen (if the user level protocol is not well thought out) that the closing side is unable to get rid of all its data before timing out. In this event, CLOSE turns into ABORT, and the closing TCP gives up. The user may CLOSE the connection at any time on his own initiative, or in response to various prompts from the TCP (e.g., remote close executed, transmission timeout exceeded, destination inaccessible). Because closing a connection requires communication with the foreign TCP, connections may remain in the closing state for a short time. Attempts to reopen the connection before the TCP replies to the CLOSE command will result in error responses. Close also implies push function. Status Format: STATUS (local connection name) -> status data This is an implementation dependent user command and could be excluded without adverse effect. Information returned would typically come from the TCB associated with the connection. This command returns a data block containing the following information: local socket,
foreign socket, local connection name, receive window, send window, connection state, number of buffers awaiting acknowledgment, number of buffers pending receipt, urgent state, precedence, security/compartment, and transmission timeout. Depending on the state of the connection, or on the implementation itself, some of this information may not be available or meaningful. If the calling process is not authorized to use this connection, an error is returned. This prevents unauthorized processes from gaining information about a connection. Abort Format: ABORT (local connection name) This command causes all pending SENDs and RECEIVES to be aborted, the TCB to be removed, and a special RESET message to be sent to the TCP on the other side of the connection. Depending on the implementation, users may receive abort indications for each outstanding SEND or RECEIVE, or may simply receive an ABORT-acknowledgment. TCP-to-User Messages It is assumed that the operating system environment provides a means for the TCP to asynchronously signal the user program. When the TCP does signal a user program, certain information is passed to the user. Often in the specification the information will be an error message. In other cases there will be information relating to the completion of processing a SEND or RECEIVE or other user call. The following information is provided: Local Connection Name Always Response String Always Buffer Address Send & Receive Byte count (counts bytes received) Receive Push flag Receive Urgent flag Receive
TCP/Lower-Level Interface The TCP calls on a lower level protocol module to actually send and receive information over a network. One case is that of the ARPA internetwork system where the lower level module is the Internet Protocol (IP) . If the lower level protocol is IP it provides arguments for a type of service and for a time to live. TCP uses the following settings for these parameters: Type of Service = Precedence: routine, Delay: normal, Throughput: normal, Reliability: normal; or 00000000. Time to Live = one minute, or 00111100. Note that the assumed maximum segment lifetime is two minutes. Here we explicitly ask that a segment be destroyed if it cannot be delivered by the internet system within one minute. If the lower level is IP (or other protocol that provides this feature) and source routing is used, the interface must allow the route information to be communicated. This is especially important so that the source and destination addresses used in the TCP checksum be the originating source and ultimate destination. It is also important to preserve the return route to answer connection requests. Any lower level protocol will have to provide the source address, destination address, and protocol fields, and some way to determine the "TCP length", both to provide the functional equivlent service of IP and to be used in the TCP checksum.
3.9. Event Processing The processing depicted in this section is an example of one possible implementation. Other implementations may have slightly different processing sequences, but they should differ from those in this section only in detail, not in substance. The activity of the TCP can be characterized as responding to events. The events that occur can be cast into three categories: user calls, arriving segments, and timeouts. This section describes the processing the TCP does in response to each of the events. In many cases the processing required depends on the state of the connection. Events that occur: User Calls OPEN SEND RECEIVE CLOSE ABORT STATUS Arriving Segments SEGMENT ARRIVES Timeouts USER TIMEOUT RETRANSMISSION TIMEOUT TIME-WAIT TIMEOUT The model of the TCP/user interface is that user commands receive an immediate return and possibly a delayed response via an event or pseudo interrupt. In the following descriptions, the term "signal" means cause a delayed response. Error responses are given as character strings. For example, user commands referencing connections that do not exist receive "error: connection not open". Please note in the following that all arithmetic on sequence numbers, acknowledgment numbers, windows, et cetera, is modulo 2**32 the size of the sequence number space. Also note that "=<" means less than or equal to (modulo 2**32).
A natural way to think about processing incoming segments is to imagine that they are first tested for proper sequence number (i.e., that their contents lie in the range of the expected "receive window" in the sequence number space) and then that they are generally queued and processed in sequence number order. When a segment overlaps other already received segments we reconstruct the segment to contain just the new data, and adjust the header fields to be consistent. Note that if no state change is mentioned the TCP stays in the same state.