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TCP Performance Dynamics and Link-Layer Adaptation Based Optimization Methods for Wireless Networks

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6 Author(s)

Almost a decade long research on the performance of TCP in wireless networks has resulted in many proposals and solutions to the problem of TCP throughput degradation. Several of these measures, however, have their share of drawbacks. With the continuing emergence of wireless technologies ever since the work on TCP performance over wireless began, smart link-layer mechanisms like adaptive modulation and coding, power control, and incremental redundancy have been designed and deployed. In this work, we outline a cross-layer optimization framework based on the congestion control dynamics of a bulk-transfer TCP flow and demonstrate its application to networks which offer link-layer adaptive measures. We begin by observing that the TCP's congestion window dynamics are comprised of certain recurring patterns which we term as cycles. We then overlay a TCP throughput optimization methodology that selects link-layer transmission modes (e.g. modulation scheme, coding rate, transmission power, or a combination thereof) in accordance with TCP dynamics and wireless channel conditions. We provide insights into the working of the optimization procedure which protects TCP segments against losses on the wireless channel when the TCP congestion window size (in bytes) is below the bandwidth-delay product of the network. The protection against wireless channel losses is rendered by the link-layer by employing robust modulation and coding schemes, high transmission power, etc. We show that TCP dynamics aware link adaptation measures lead to substantial enhancement of TCP throughput in EGPRS and IEEE 802.11a networks

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 5 )