Meaning – The term networkcongestion, refers to an undesirable overload condition caused by traffic in excess of what a network can handle.
A consequence of congestion is that an incremental increase in offered load leads either only to a small increase or even a decrease in network throughput.
Network protocols that use aggressive retransmissions to compensate for packet loss due to congestion can increase congestion, even after the initial load has been reduced to a level that would not normally have induced network congestion. Such networks exhibit two stable states under the same level of load.
Example of usage – “Networks use congestion control and congestion avoidance techniques to try to avoid collapse. These include exponential backoff in protocols such as CSMA/CA in 802.11 and the similar CSMA/CD in the original Ethernet, window reduction in TCP, and fair queueing in devices such as routers and network switches.”