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Differential FEC and ARQ for Radio Link Protocols

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4 Author(s)
Jaideep Sarkar ; MathWorks Inc., Natick, MA ; Sengupta, S. ; Chatterjee, M. ; Ganguly, S.

To bring TCP-based services to the mobile devices in a cellular network, it is necessary that TCP be extended over the wireless link. However, the performance of TCP severely degrades in a wireless medium. Hence, radio link protocols (RLPs) are used as an interface between TCP and the physical medium. RLPs fragment TCP segments into frames and use robust error correcting codes and fast retransmission schemes to shield the channel related losses from TCP, thus preventing TCP throughput degradation. In this paper, we show the limitations of the existing RLPs, which do not differentiate the frames generated from the same TCP segment. We claim that if selective frames are made more robust to transmission failures, then the performance of RLP and, hence, TCP can be improved. We identify such decisive frames and categorize them as crucial and noncrucial. Our claim is based on the fact that initial frames can afford a few trials of retransmissions, whereas the later ones cannot. We treat the frames differentially with respect to forward error correcting (FEC) coding and automatic repeat request (ARQ) schemes. We consider specific cases of FEC and ARQ strategies and show the qualitative difference in the performance of the RLP through analysis and simulations. The gain in the performance is more prominent when both FEC and ARQ (hybrid-ARQ) are used. The increase in TCP throughput with the proposed RLP is also demonstrated

Published in:

Computers, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 11 )

Date of Publication:

Nov. 2006

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