I found that "Packet loss describes lost packets of data not reaching their destination after being transmitted across a network." So, we can say that it is a portion of transmitted packets gets lost.

Now, in a wireless network, if packet drops out at the sending end due to queue overflow, that will also cause packet loss. In such case, should we define the packet loss as

1 - [packets received at the receiver/packets arrived or generated at the transmitter]

Would anyone please suggest? Thank you.

1 Answer 1


Essentially, packet loss is transmitted packets (from the source) minus received packets (at the destination). The reason for loss doesn't matter.

You may also analyze packet loss on a specific path or link but that's essentially the same with adapted source and destination.

  • Thank you @Zac67. The packets which are dropped out at the sending end due to queue overflow are not even transmitted. I am wondering if it is right to define packet loss as transmitted packets-received packet? Is it wrong if i say packet loss is generated packets-received packets?
    – user86543
    Dec 1, 2022 at 9:56
  • 1
    I wouldn't count 'packets' already lost on the source host as packet loss as they've never been transmitted on the network. You might count them as lost from the application perspective (but that's off topic here).
    – Zac67
    Dec 1, 2022 at 10:03
  • I should post another question then. But, would you please suggest if packet loss from the application persepctive is defined differently than you mentioned in the answer? I need to consider packets lost due to queue overflow as a part of packet loss.
    – user86543
    Dec 1, 2022 at 10:09
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    If your application generates UDP datagrams at 110 Mbit/s and tries to send over a 100 Mbit/s link then the excess isn't lost on the network - it's an application problem. The path/scope always needs to be defined for packet loss reporting.
    – Zac67
    Dec 1, 2022 at 10:22

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