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TCP performance over wireless MIMO channels with ARQ and packet combining

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2 Author(s)
Toledo, A.L. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Columbia Univ., New York, NY, USA ; Xiaodong Wang

Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) wireless communication systems that employ multiple transmit and receive antennas can provide very high-rate data transmissions without increase in bandwidth or transmit power. For this reason, MIMO technologies are considered as a key ingredient in the next generation wireless systems, where provision of reliable data services for TCP/IP applications such as wireless multimedia or Internet is of extreme importance. However, while the performance of TCP has been extensively studied over different wireless links, little attention has been paid to the impact of MIMO systems on TCP. This paper provides an investigation on the performance of modern TCP systems when used over wireless channels that employ MIMO technologies. In particular, we focus on two representative categories of MIMO systems, namely, the BLAST systems and the space-time block coding (STBC) systems, and how the ARQ and packet combining techniques impact on the overall TCP performance. We show that, from the TCP throughput standpoint, a more reliable channel may be preferred over a higher spectral efficient but less reliable channel, especially under low SNR conditions. We also study the effect of antenna correlation on the TCP throughput under various conditions.

Published in:

Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 3 )