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This is also used in TCP with timeouts and ACKs. The idea is you have an expected timeout (ETO) and a retransmission time out (RTO). Initially, you set RTO to ETO and then you send a packet. If you don't get an ACK back, and the timer for the RTO expires, you then set RTO = 2 * RTO. Otherwise, reset RTO = ETO. I think they referred to this as 'exponential averaging' however.

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