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Performance of multipath transport protocols is known to be sensitive to path asymmetry. The difference between each path in terms of bandwidth, delay and packet loss has a potential to significantly decrease the overall performance of a data flow carried over multiple asymmetric paths. In this paper, we evaluate and analyse reliable data transfer in Concurrent Multipath Transfer extension of Stream Control Transport Protocol (CMT-SCTP) under various conditions of network asymmetry, with a focus on the use case where 3G and Wi-Fi networks are simultaneously available. We identify various causes of performance degradation, review the impact of CMT-SACK extension under path asymmetry and show that the total achievable goodput of a reliable in-order data flow over multiple heterogeneous paths is ruled by the characteristics of the worst path as perceived by the transport protocol. To support our study, we derive a simple analytical model of the receiver window blocking and validate it via simulation.
Date of Conference: 2-5 Oct. 2012