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Impact of packet aggregation on TCP performance in Wireless Mesh Networks

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3 Author(s)
Jonas Karlsson ; Dept. of Computer Science, Karlstad University, Sweden ; Andreas Kassler ; Anna Brunstrom

Recently, wireless mesh networks (WMNs) have attracted attention as a way to provide alternative Internet connectivity to rural areas or communities. In WMNs, wireless access points communicate with each other wirelessly, forming a true wireless mesh based access network of mesh relay nodes (MRNs). A major problem is, however, scalability of WMNs as well as MAC and PHY layer overhead for packet transmission. Capacity of WMNs can be increased significantly by aggregating (combining) several smaller packets into larger ones. This has previously been demonstrated for voice flows where many packets are of small sizes. TCP could also benefit, as by aggregating several packets together there is a reduced collision risk between TCP DATA and TCP ACKs in addition to the reduced MAC layer contention. However, the traffic pattern when TCP is used is completely different from when voice and UDP flows are used, which sometimes requires different aggregation designs. In this paper, we investigate the impact of packet aggregation on TCP in Wireless Mesh Networks. Using several different scenarios we demonstrate that packet aggregation can not only increase capacity for TCP in such networks but also improve fairness and reduce end-to-end delay.

Published in:

World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks & Workshops, 2009. WoWMoM 2009. IEEE International Symposium on a

Date of Conference:

15-19 June 2009