Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Server Overload Control: Design and Evaluation

  • Charles Shen
  • Henning Schulzrinne
  • Erich Nahum
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5310)


A Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) server may be overloaded by emergency-induced call volume, “American Idol” style flash crowd effects or denial of service attacks. The SIP server overload problem is interesting especially because the costs of serving or rejecting a SIP session can be similar. For this reason, the built-in SIP overload control mechanism based on generating rejection messages cannot prevent the server from entering congestion collapse under heavy load. The SIP overload problem calls for a pushback control solution in which the potentially overloaded receiving server may notify its upstream sending servers to have them send only the amount of load within the receiving server’s processing capacity. The pushback framework can be achieved by either a rate-based feedback or a window-based feedback. The centerpiece of the feedback mechanism is the algorithm used to generate load regulation information. We propose three new window-based feedback algorithms and evaluate them together with two existing rate-based feedback algorithms. We compare the different algorithms in terms of the number of tuning parameters and performance under both steady and variable load. Furthermore, we identify two categories of fairness requirements for SIP overload control, namely, user-centric and provider-centric fairness. With the introduction of a new double-feed SIP overload control architecture, we show how the algorithms can meet those fairness criteria.


Session Initiation Protocol Session Initiation Protocol Server Feedback Algorithm Session Initiation Protocol Message Overload Control 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles Shen
    • 1
  • Henning Schulzrinne
    • 1
  • Erich Nahum
    • 2
  1. 1.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.IBM T.J. Watson Research CenterHawthorneUSA

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