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Many protocols must detect packet loss for various reasons (e.g., to ensure reliability using retransmissions or to understand the level of congestion along a network path). While many mechanisms have been designed to detect loss, ultimately, protocols can only count on the passage of time without delivery confirmation to declare a packet "lost". Each implementation of a time-based loss detection mechanism represents a balance between correctness and timeliness; therefore, no implementation suits all situations. This document provides high-level requirements for time-based loss detectors appropriate for general use in unicast communication across the Internet. Within the requirements, implementations have latitude to define particulars that best address each situation.
For the definition of Status, see RFC 2026.
For the definition of Stream, see RFC 8729.