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TCP in Wireless Networks: Challenges, Optimizations and Evaluations

by Alfredsson, Stefan

Abstract (Summary)

This thesis presents research on transport layer behavior in wireless networks. As the Internet is expanding its reach to include mobile devices, it has become apparent that some of the original design assumptions for the dominant transport protocol, TCP, are approaching their limits. A key feature of TCP is the congestion control algorithm, constructed with the assumption that packet loss is normally very low, and that packet loss therefore is a sign of network congestion. This holds true for wired networks, but for mobile wireless networks non-congestion related packet loss may appear. The varying signal power inherent with mobility and handover between base-stations are two example causes of such packet loss. This thesis provides an overview of the challenges for TCP in wireless networks together with a compilation of a number of suggested TCP optimizations for these environments. A TCP modification called TCP-L is proposed. It allows an application to increase its performance, in environments where residual bit errors normally give a degraded throughput, by making a reliability tradeoff. The performance of TCP-L is experimentally evaluated with an implementation in the Linux kernel. The transport layer performance in a 4G scenario is also experimentally investigated, focusing on the impact of the link layer design and its parameterization. Further, for emulation-based protocol evaluations, controlled packet loss and bit error generation is shown to be an important aspect.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Karlstads universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:TECHNOLOGY; Information technology; Computer science; Wireless networks; TCP/IP; TCP-L; Network emulation; Datavetenskap; Computer Science

ISBN:91-85335-53-3

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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