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A Cross-Layer Approach for Per-Station Fairness in TCP over WLANs

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4 Author(s)
Eun-Chan Park ; Telecommun. R & D Center, Samsung Electron. Co. Ltd., Suwon ; Dong-Young Kim ; Hwangnam Kim ; Chong-Ho Choi

In this paper, we investigate the issue of per-station fairness in TCP over IEEE 802.11-compliant wireless local area networks (WLANs), especially in Wi-Fi hot spot. It is asserted that the hot spot suffers from the unfairness among stations in exploiting the wireless medium. The source of this unfairness is analyzed from two aspects, TCP-induced asymmetry and MAC-induced asymmetry; the former causes TCP congestion control with a cumulative acknowledgment mechanism to prefer the sending stations to receiving stations, while the later exacerbates the unfairness problem in the hot spots. We investigate the interaction between TCP congestion control and MAC contention control, and propose a cross-layer feedback approach to assure per-station fairness and to ensure high channel utilization. In this approach, we introduce the notion of channel access cost to quantify the system-wide traffic load and per-station channel usage. The access cost is estimated at the MAC in an access point and conveyed to the TCP sender. Then, the TCP sender adjusts its sending rate based on the access cost, so as to assure per-station fairness. The simulation results indicate that the proposed approach can provide both per-station fairness and high channel utilization, irrespective of network configurations.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 7 )