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TCP-friendly medium access control for ad-hoc wireless networks: alleviating self-contention

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6 Author(s)
Berger, D. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., California Univ., Riverside, CA, USA ; Ye, Z. ; Sinha, P. ; Krishnamurthy, S.
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We focus on self-contention: contention between packets of the same transport layer connection along the path from source to destination. We observe that self-contention plays an important role in degrading TCP performance in multi-hop wireless networks and that the use of the popular IEEE 802.11 MAC protocol exacerbates self-contention. We propose and study two MAC-layer approaches to alleviate self-contention. The first approach, called quick-exchange (QE), is designed with the intent of reducing the effects of inter-flow self-contention (e.g. between packets of the same connection traveling in opposite directions). The design of our second mechanism, called fast-forward (FF), is geared towards decreasing intra-flow self-contention (e.g. between packets of the same connection traveling in the same direction). We simulate and study our proposed schemes and observe that quick-exchange consistently improves net-work aggregate goodput (by as much as 20% in string topologies, 15% in random static scenarios, and 10% in random mobile scenarios). In contrast to our expectations, fast-forward causes sporadic and often negative effects on goodput for TCP connections. Upon investigation we find that while the MAC is, in some respect, operating more efficiently, as demonstrated by improved UDP throughput; interactions with TCPs congestion control mechanism cause the goodput to degrade. We analyze various effects that cause the respective behaviors with QE and FF in detail.

Published in:

Mobile Ad-hoc and Sensor Systems, 2004 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

25-27 Oct. 2004