Multi-rate Multicast Congestion Control (MR-MCC) is a promising opportunity to tackle the multicast congestion control problem in huge and heterogeneous networks like the global Internet. However, it is not easy to provide an MR-MCC design with responsiveness, efficiency of network utilisation, low packet loss, scalability and fairness (including inter-protocol fairness, intra-protocol fairness, intra-session fairness and TCP-friendliness) as well as feasible implementation.\ud \ud This thesis is concerned with the design and performance evaluation of multi-rate multicast congestion control. We aim to address the problems faced by the previous proposals. In doing so, we have established a rigorous performance evaluation methodology via netwrok simulation, and defined a set of key evaluation criteria to test MR-MCC protocols. Then, we have undertaken a performance evaluation of the previously proposed MR-MCC protocols (RLM, RLC, FLID-DL and PLM). Having learnt from our simulation analysis of previous proposals, we propose our innovative design of an experimental MR-MCC protocol, called Explicit Rate Adjustment (ERA). The design goals are scalability, responsiveness, fast convergence, fairness (including intra-session fairness, intra-protocol fairness, and inter-protocol fairness, in particular TCP friendliness), efficiency in network utilisation, and simplicity to implement. We have also implemented our experimental MR-MCC protocol in the ns-2 network simulation package. Through simulation, we demonstrate the performance evaluation of our MR-MCC extensively and demonstrate that it provides the desirable properties mentioned previously.\u
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