I can't wrap my head around slow-start, probably because I don't think I understand the problem it's intended to solve.
What I'm wondering is: since the sender already has an upper bound for the min-RTT, why is the initial congestion window set to a fixed number rather than to "the number of segments that can be transmitted in the RTT" (or the receiver's advertised window if smaller)?
I guess this wouldn't work for high-latency congested links since the initial window is IIUC used as the *minimum* window to fall back to when congestion occurs, but why does that need to be the case? I suspect the answer to this question may be along the lines of "that's the point of slow-start", but it's not intuitive to me.
If anyone knows of any resources which explain this problem from "first principles" - ie. without requiring the reader to already have more than a passing familiarity with TCP - I'd appreciate a pointer.
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