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Seamless TCP Migration on Smartphones without Network Support

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7 Author(s)
Rahmati, A. ; Broadcom Corp., Sunnyvale, CA, USA ; Shepard, C. ; Tossell, C.C. ; Lin Zhong
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Is it possible to migrate TCP/IP flows between different networks on modern mobile devices without infrastructure support or protocol changes? To answer this question, we make three research contributions: 1) We report a comprehensive characterization of IP traffic on 27 iPhone 3GS users for three months. 2) Driven by these findings, we devise two simple, effective, and easily deployable system mechanisms to support seamless flow migration without network support, and extensively evaluate their effectiveness using our field collected traces of real-life usage. Wait-n-Migrate leverages the fact that most flows are short lived. It establishes new flows on newly available networks but allows preexisting flows on the old network to terminate naturally. Resumption Agent takes advantage of the resumption functionality of modern protocols to securely resume flows without application intervention. Combined, they provide an unprecedented opportunity to immediately deploy policies that leverage multiple networks to improve the performance, efficiency, and connectivity of mobile devices. 3) We report an iPhone-based implementation of these system mechanisms and demonstrate their overhead to be negligible. Furthermore, we employ a sample switching policy, AutoSwitch, to demonstrate their performance. Through traces and field measurements, we show that AutoSwitch reduces user disruptions by an order of magnitude.

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Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 3 )