The Available Bit Rate (ABR) service has been developed to support 21st century data applications over Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM). The ABR service uses a closed-loop rate-based traffic management framework where the network divides left-over bandwidth among contending sources. The ATM Forum traffic management group also incorporated open-loop control capabilities to make the ABR service robust to temporary network failures and source inactivity. An important problem addressed was whether rate allocations of sources should be taken away if sources do not use them. The proposed solutions, popularly known as the Use-It-or-Lose-It (UILI) policies, have had significant impact on the ABR service capabilities. In this paper we discuss the design, development, and the final shape of these policies and their impact on the ABR service. We compare the various alternatives through a performance evaluation.
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