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Comparison of FEC types with regard to the efficiency of TCP connections over AWGN satellite channels

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1 Author(s)
Celandroni, N. ; CNR-ISTI Inst., Pisa

Optimizing the end-to-end throughput of a TCP connection (goodput) over geostationary satellite links is a challenging research topic. This is because the high delay-bandwidth product, together with a non-negligible random loss of packets, is a condition that considerably differs from the environments TCP was originally designed for. As a result, TCP performance is significantly impaired by the channel bit error rate. The literature is full of suggestions for improving TCP goodput, most based on modifications of the protocol itself. We only investigated the application of different FEC (forward error correction) types for TCP goodput optimization, leaving the end-to-end protocol unaltered. Using a method midway between analysis and simulation to evaluate the goodput of TCP long-lived connections, we first studied the influence of packet loss rate, introduced by errors on the channel, on the TCP goodput. We showed that, in some cases, the packet loss rate does not need to be negligible with respect to that caused by congestion, as it is widely-held opinion. We then applied physical-level FEC techniques, such as convolutional encoding/Viterbi decoding, Reed Solomon, link-level erasure codes and their combinations, over a wide field of signal to noise conditions of the satellite channel. For each FEC type, we found the FEC rate that maximizes the TCP goodput, in each channel condition. We finally compared the results of all FECs used between them, and presented the case of multiple TCP connections sharing the same link as well

Published in:

Wireless Communications, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 7 )

Date of Publication:

July 2006

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