Performance Considerations of Various Wireless TCP – Protocols

DOI : 10.17577/IJERTV2IS3726

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Performance Considerations of Various Wireless TCP – Protocols


1 Asst. Prof. in Department of CSE., Vijaya Institute of Technology for Women,Vijayawada. 2 Asst. Prof. in Department of CSE., Vijaya Institute of Technology for Women,Vijayawada. 3 Asst. Prof. in Department of CSE., Vijaya Institute of Technology for Women,Vijayawada.


TCP is a reliable transport protocol tuned to perform well in traditional networks where congestion is the primary cause of packet loss. However, networks with wireless links and mobile hosts incur significant losses due to bit errors and handoff. This environment violates many of the assumptions made by TCP, causing degraded end- to-end performance. And this paper mainly shows the performance of individual protocols of wireless-TCP such as Indirect-TCP, Snooping- TCP and Mobile-TCP. TCP is an End-to End Semantic follows throughout the Session. I.e. for session created and session completed. So analyze the parts of various TCP-models.

One part of the modifications, called the snoop module, caches packets at the base station and performs local retransmissions across the wireless link to alleviate the problems caused by high bit-error rates. The second part is a routing protocol that enables low-latency handoff to occur with negligible data loss. We have implemented this new protocol stack on a wireless tested. Our experiments show that this system is significantly more robust at dealing with unreliable wireless links than normal TCP; we have achieved throughput speedups of up to 20 times over regular TCP and handoff latencies over 10 times shorter than other mobile routing protocols. And this paper mainly shows the performance of individual protocols of wireless-top such as Indirect-TCP, Snooping-TCP and Mobile-TCP.

Key words: TCP wireless protocols, snooping TCP.

  1. Introduction

    There are mainly three techniques of Wireless TCP Protocols supported for mobile Transactions. These are 1.Indirct TCP, 2.Snooffing TCP, 3.Mobile TCP. But in this paper mainly concentrated on Working Environment of TCP (i.e. performance Issues and Security Considerations)

    Working Environment: Recent activity in mobile computing and wireless networks strongly indicates that mobile computers and their wireless

    Communication links will be an integral part of future internetworks. Communication over wireless links is characterized by limited bandwidth, high latencies, sporadic high bit-error rates and temporary disconnections that network protocols and applications must deal with. In addition, protocols and applications have to handle user mobility and the handoffs that occur as users move from cell to cell in cellular wireless networks. These handoffs involve transfer of communication state (typically network-level state) from one base station (a router between a wired and wireless network) to another, and often result in either packet loss or variation in packet delays. Handoffs typically last anywhere between a few tens to a few hundreds of milliseconds in most systems. Reliable transport protocols such as TCP [22, 23, and 5] have been tuned for traditional networks made up of wired links and stationary hosts. TCP performs very well on such networks by adapting to end-to-end delays and packet losses caused by congestion. It provides reliability by maintaining a running average of estimated round- trip delay and mean deviation, and by retransmitting any packet whose acknowledgment is not received within four times the deviation from the average. Due to the relatively low bit- error rates over wired networks, all packet losses are correctly assumed to be caused by congestion. In the presence of the high bit-error rates, intermittent connectivity and handoffs characteristic of wireless environments, TCP reacts to packet losses as it would in the wired environment: it drops its transmission window size before retransmitting packets, initiates congestion control or avoidance mechanisms (e.g., slow start [11]) and resets its retransmission timer (Karns Algorithm [14]). These measures result in an unnecessary reduction in the links bandwidth utilization, thereby causing a significant degradation in performance in the form of poor

    throughput and very high interactive delays [6]. In 1

    this paper, we describe the design and implementation of a protocol stack to alleviate this degradation and present the results of several experiments using this protocol. Our aim is to improve the end-to-end performance on networks with wireless links without changing existing TCP implementations at hosts in the fixed network and without recompiling or re-linking existing applications. We achieve this by a simple set of modifications to the standard Internet network- layer (IP) software at the base station and mobile host. Two different changes deal with the wireless transmission losses and handoff-related losses. The snoop module deals with bit-error losses while the routing protocol eliminates the losses during handoff. The snoop modifications consist of caching packets and performing local retransmissions across the wireless link by monitoring the acknowledgments to TCP packets generated by the receiver. Our experiments show speedups of up to 20 times over regular TCP in the presence of bit errors on the wireless link. We have also found that the snoop module makes the protocol significantly more robust at dealing with multiple packet losses in a single window as compared to regular TCP. The routing protocol multicasts packets to several base stations in the target mobile hosts area. This multicast combined with intelligent buffering at these base stations allows mobile hosts to roam without incurring packet losses due to handoff. Our measurements show that handoff completes in 5 to 70 ms and causes negligible degradation of end-to-end TCP performance. The snoop module and routing protocol combine to alleviate the TCP performance problems present in typical wireless networks.

  2. Design Alternatives and Related Work

    TCP performance is an important factor in determining the current and future usability of wireless networks, since several popular applications such as ftp, telnet, and WWW (http) are built upon it. It is desirable to improve its performance in wireless networks without any modifications to the fixed hosts, since this will enable seamless integration of mobile devices communicating over wireless links with the rest of the Internet. Recently, several reliable transport- layer protocols for networks with wireless links have been proposed [3, 4, 6, and 24] to alleviate the poor end-to-end performance of unmodified TCP in the wireless medium. We summarize these protocols in this section and point out the advantages and disadvantages of each method. In

    Section 8 we present a more detailed comparison of these schemes with our protocol.

    The Split Connection Approach: The Indirect- TCP (I-TCP) protocol shown in fig: 1, [3, 4] was one of the first protocols to use this method. It involves splitting a TCP connection between a fixed and mobile host into two separate connections at the base station — one TCP connection between the fixed host and the base station, and the other between the base station and the mobile host. Since the second connection is over a one-hop wireless link, there is no need to use TCP on this link. Rather, a more optimized wireless link-specific protocol tuned for better performance can be used [24]. During a handoff, the I-TCP connections must be moved from the base station currently forwarding data to another one. This is dne by transferring the state associated with the two connections to the new base station. The advantage of the split connection approach is that it achieves a separation of flow and congestion control of the wireless link from that of the fixed network and hence results in good bandwidth at the sender. However, there are some drawbacks of this approach, including:

    1. Loss of Semantics: I-TCP acknowledgments and semantics are not end-to-end. Since the TCP connection is explicitly split into two distinct ones, acknowledgments of TCP packets can arrive at the sender even before the packet actually reaches the intended recipient. I-TCP derives its good performance from this splitting of connections. However, as we shall show, there is no need to sacrifice the semantics of acknowledgments in order to achieve good performance.

    2. Application relinking: Applications running on the mobile host have to be relinked with the I-TCP library and need to use special I- TCP socket system calls in the current implementation.

    3. Software overhead: Every packet needs to go through the TCP protocol stack and incur the associated overhead four times — once at the sender, twice at the base station, and once at the receiver. This also involves copying data at the base station to move the packet from the incoming TCP connection to the outgoing one. This overhead is lessened if a more lightweight, wireless-specific reliable protocol is used on the last link.

    4. Handoff Latency: The state maintained at a base station in I-TCP consists mainly of a set of socket buffers. Since this state must be moved to another base station during handoff, the latency of handoff is proportional to the size of these socket buffers. The I-TCP

      handoffs range from 265 ms for empty socket 2

      buffers to 1430 ms for 32KByte socket buffers [4].

      protocol to solve this problem without these drawbacks. The rest of the paper describes the design, implementation, and performance of such a protocol stack.

      Figure 1: I-TCP Socket & State Mitigation:

      The Fast-Retransmit Approach [6]: shown in fig-2: This approach addresses the issue of TCP performance when communication resumes after a handoff. Unmodified TCP at the sender interprets the delay caused by a handoff process to be due to congestion (since TCP assumes that all delays are caused by congestion) and when a timeout occurs, reduces its window size and retransmits unacknowledged packets. Often, handoffs complete relatively quickly (between a few tens to a couple of hundred milliseconds), and long waits are required by the mobile host before timeouts occur at the sender and packets start getting retransmitted. This is because of coarse retransmit timeout granularities (on the order of 500 ms) in most TCP implementations. The fast retransmit approach mitigates this problem by having the mobile host send a certain threshold number of duplicate acknowledgments to the sender. This causes TCP at the sender to immediately reduce its window size and retransmit packets starting from the first missing one (for which the duplicate acknowledgment was sent). The main drawback of this approach is that it only addresses handoffs and not the error characteristics of the wireless link.

      Link-level Retransmissions [20]: In this approach, the wireless link implements a retransmission protocol coupled with forward error correction at the data-link level. The advantage of this approach is that it improves the reliability of communication independent of the higher-level protocol. However, TCP implements its own end to-end retransmission protocol. Studies have shown that independent retransmission protocols such as these can lead to degraded performance, especially as error rates become significant [9]. In such systems, a tight coupling of transport- and link-level retransmission timeouts and policies is necessary to avoid redundant retransmissions. In summary, several schemes have been proposed to improve the performance of TCP in wireless networks. However, they have the disadvantages described above. Furthermore, while a variety of schemes for low-latency, low data loss handoffs have been proposed [1, 10], none of these address the problems of reliable protocols in wireless networks. We feel that it is possible to design a

      Figure 2: Indirect TCP

  3. The Snoop Module

Massachusetts Most current network applications that require reliable transmission use TCP. Therefore, it is desirable to achieve our goal of improving its performance in our network without changing existing TCP implementations in the fixed network. The only components of the network we can expect to have administrative control over are the base stations and the mobile hosts. For transfer of data from a fixed host to a mobile host, we make modifications only to the routing code at the base station. These modifications include caching unacknowledged TCP data and performing local retransmissions based on a few policies dealing with acknowledgments (from the mobile host) and timeouts. By using duplicate acknowledgments to identify packet loss and performing local retransmissions as soon as this loss is detected, the module shields the sender from the vagaries of the wireless link. In particular, transient situations of very low communication quality and temporary disconnectivity are hidden from the sender. For transfer of data from a mobile host to a fixed host, we detect missing packets at the base station and generate negative acknowledgments for them. These negative acknowledgments are sent to the mobile host (the sender), which then processes them and retransmits the corresponding missing packets. This requires modifications to both the fixed and mobile hosts. These mechanisms together improve the performance of the connection in both directions, without sacrificing any of the end-to-end semantics of TCP, modifying host TCP code in the fixed network or relinking existing applications. This combination of improved performance, preserved protocol semantics and full compatibility with existing applications is the main contribution of our work. A preliminary design of a protocol based on these ideas appeared in [2]. Simulations of the protocol indicated that it was capable achieving the same throughput as unmodified TCP at 10 times higher bit-error rates. These promising results indicated that an implementation would be worthwhile, and we used the simulated protocol as the basis of our

initial implementation. Several parts of the 3

protocol were changed based on measurements and our experience with it.

several kinds of packets can arrive at the BS from the FH, and snoop_data() processes them in different ways:

Figure 3: Snooping TCP

3.1. Data Transfer from a Fixed Host

We first describe the changes to the protocol for transfer of data from a fixed host (FH) to a mobile host (MH) through a base station (BS). The base station routing code is modified by adding a

Packet New Pkt?


In sequence?


  1. Cache Packet

  2. Forward to Mobile


N 1. Forward Packet

2. Reset local rexmit

  1. Mark as cong. loss

  2. Forward Pkt

  1. Mark as cong. loss

  2. Forward Pkt




module, called snoop that monitors every packet that passes through the connection in either direction. No transport layer code runs at the base station. The snoop module maintains a cache of TCP packets sent from the FH that havent yet been acknowledged by the MH. This is easy to do since TCP has a cumulative acknowledgment policy for received packets. When a new packet arrives from the FH, the snoop module adds it to its cache and passes the packet on to the routing code which performs the normal routing functions. The snoop module also keeps track of all the acknowledgments sent from the mobile host. When a packet loss is detected (either by the arrial of a duplicate acknowledgment or by a local timeout), it retransmits the lost packet to the MH if it has the packet cached. Thus, the base station (snoop) hides the packet loss from the FH by not propagating duplicate acknowledgments, thereby preventing unnecessary congestion control mechanism invocations. The snoop module has two linked procedures, snoop_data() and snoop_ack(). Snoop_data() processes and caches packets intended for the MH while snoop_ack() processes acknowledgments (ACKs) coming from the MH and drives local retransmissions from the base station to the mobile host. The flowcharts summarizing the algorithms for snoop_data() and snoop_ack() are shown in Figures 1 and 2 and are described below.

3.1.1. Snoop_data()

Snoop_data() processes packets from the fixed host. TCP implements a sliding window scheme to transmit packets based on its congestion window (estimated from local computations at the sender) and the flow control window (advertised by the receiver). TCP is a byte stream protocol and each byte of data has an associated sequence number. A TCP packet (or segment) is identified uniquely by the sequence number of its first byte of data and its size. At the BS, snoop keeps track of the last sequence number seen for the connection. One of

Figure 4: Flowchart for Snoop_data().

  1. A new packet in the normal TCP sequence: This is the common case, when a new packet in the normal increasing sequence arrives at the BS. In this case the packet is added to the snoop cache and forwarded on to the MH. We do not perform any extra copying of data while doing this. We also place a timestamp on one packet per transmitted window in order to estimate the round-trip time of the wireless link. The details of these steps are described in Section 4.

  2. An out-of-sequence packet that has been cached earlier: This is a less common case, but it happens when dropped packets cause timeouts at the sender. It could also happen when a stream of data following a TCP sender fast retransmission arrives at the base station. Different actions are taken depending on whether this packet is greater or less than the last acknowledged packet seen so far. If the sequence number is greater than the last acknowledgment seen, it is very likely that this packet didnt reach the MH earlier, and so it is forwarded on. If, on the other hand, the sequence number is less than the last acknowledgment, this packet has already been received by the MH. At this point, one possibility would be to discard this packet and continue, but this is not always the best thing to do. The reason for this is that the original ACK with the same sequence number could have been lost due to congestion while going back to the FH. In order to facilitate the sender getting to the current state of the connection as fast as possible, a TCP acknowledgment corresponding to the last ACK seen at the BS is generated by the snoop module (with the source address and port corresponding to the MH) and sent to the FH.

  3. An out-of-sequence packet that has not been

cached earlier: In this case the packet was 4

either lost earlier due to congestion on the wired network or has been delivered out of order by the network. The former is more likely, especially if the sequence number of the packet (i.e, the sequence number of its first data byte) is more than one or two packets away from the last one seen so far by the snoop module. This packet is forwarded to the MH, and also marked as having been retransmitted by the sender. Snoop_ack() uses this information to process duplicate acknowledgments that arrive for this packet from the MH.

3.1.2 Snoop_ack()

Snoop_ack() monitors and processes the acknowledgments (ACKs) sent back by the MH and performs various operations depending on the type and number of acknowledgments it receives. These ACKs fall into one of three categories:

  1. Free Buffers

  2. Update RTT estimate

  3. Propagate Ack to

  1. Free Buffers

  2. Update RTT estimate

  3. Propagate Ack to



happens. It is discarded and the packet processing continues.

    1. duplicate ACK (DUPACK): This is an ACK that is identical to a previously received one. In particular, it is the same as the highest cumulative ACK seen so far. In this case the next packet in sequence from the DUPACK has not been received by the MH. However, some subsequent packets in the sequence have been received, since the MH generates a DUPACK for each TCP segment received out of sequence. One of several actions is taken depending on the type of duplicate acknowledgment and the current state of snoop:

      • The first case occurs when the DUPACK is for a packet that is either not in the snoop cache or has been marked as having been retransmitted by the sender. If the packet is not in the cache, it needs to be resent from the FH, perhaps after invoking the necessary congestion control mechanisms at the sender. If the packet was marked as a sender-retransmitted packet, the DUPACK



Spurious ack




Later dup acks




Dup Ack?



First one?

Common Case

needs to be routed to the FH because the TCP stack there maintains state based on the number of duplicate acknowledgments it receives when it retransmits a packet. Therefore, both these situations require the DUPACK to be routed to the FH.he realm represents the nodes that are managed by a single KDC; i.e. share the same Kerberos database.

  • The second case occurs when the snoop module gets a DUPACK that it doesnt expect to receive for the packet. This typically happens when the first DUPACK

    Retransmit lost packet with high priority

    Retransmit lost packet with high priority

    for lost packets Next pkt lost

    Figure 5: Flowchart for Snoop_ack().

    i.A new ACK: This is the common case (when the connection is fairly error-free and there is little user movement), and signifies an increase in the packet sequence received at the MH. This ACK initiates the cleaning of the snoop cache and all acknowledged packets are freed. The round-trip time estimate for the wireless link is also updated at this time. This estimate is not done for every packet, but only for one packet in each window of transmission, and only if no retransmissions happened in that window. The last condition is needed because it is impossible in general to determine if the arrival of an acknowledgment for a retransmitted packet was for the original packet or for the retransmission [14]. Finally, the acknowledgment is forwarded to the FH.

    ii.A spurious ACK: This is an acknowledgment less than the last acknowledgment seen by the snoop module and is a situation that rarely

    arrives for the packet, after a subsequent packet in the stream reaches the MH, following a packet loss. The arrival of each successive packet in the window causes a DUPACK to be generated for the lost packet. In order to make the number of such DUPACKs as small as possible, the lost packet is retransmitted as soon as the loss is detected, and at a higher priority as normal packets. This is done by maintaining two queues at the link layer for high and normal priority packets. In addition, snoop also estimates the maximum number of duplicate acknowledgments that can arrive for this packet. This is done by counting the number of packets that were transmitted after the lost packet prior to its retransmission.

  • The third case occurs when an expected DUPACK arrives, based on the above maximum estimate. The missing packet would have already been retransmitted when the first DUPACK arrived (and the

estimate was zero), so this acknowledgment 5

is discarded. In practice, the retransmitted packet reaches the MH before most of the later packets do (because it was retransmitted a a higher priority) and the BS sees an increase in the ACK sequence before all the expected DUPACKs arrive.

Retransmitting packets at a higher priority improves performance at all error rates. This enables retransmitted packets to reach the mobile host sooner, reducing the number of duplicate ACKs and leading to improved throughput. Snoop keeps track of the number of local retransmissions for a packet, but resets this number to zero if the packet arrives again from the sender following a timeout or a fast retransmission. In addition to retransmitting packets depending on the number and type of acknowledgments, the snoop module also performs retransmissions driven by timeouts. This is described in more detail in the section on implementation (Section 4).

  1. Implementation

    We have implemented the snoop module and routing protocol on a test bed consisting of IBM ThinkPad laptops and i486 base stations running BSD/OS 2.0 from BSDI, communicating over an AT&T Wavelan. The maximum raw aggregate bandwidth of the Wavelan is about 2 Mbits/s. The implementation currently supports bulk transfers to and from mobile hosts and supports smooth handoffs. The network topology for our experiments is shown in Figure 6. The state maintained by snoop is easily reconstructed from scratch by snooping on a few packets and acknowledgments. The snoop cache is maintained as a circular buffer of packets, consisting mainly of pointers to kernel mbufs [18] and some other associated information that includes the packet sequence number, its size, the number of local retransmissions, and a flag set if the packet was retransmitted by the sender. In general, the size of the cache at a forwarding (primary) base station needs to be large enough to handle the maximum transmission window size. In practice, we set a high-water mark on the cache: the only packets accepted into the cache after this point is reached are those that are out of order and earlier in sequence than the last one seen. Other packets are forwarded to the mobile host without being cached. This is because it is more important for the older, rather than newer, packets to be cached and retransmitted, since they will cause sender timeouts earlier. Several studies have shown that one of the predominant costs of TCP is the copying of data [7, 16]. We use the reference counting mechanism present in kernel mbufs to avoid data copying in the snoop module. Thus, we do not incur any extra overhead associated with copying at the base station. When error rates are relatively low, the protocol overhead is small — an

    incoming packet is added to the cache without copying it, and it is forwarded on to the mobile host. A small number of state variables (e.g., the last sequence number seen) are updated. When a new acknowledgment arrives at the base station, we forward it on to the fixed host and clean the snoop cache by freeing the packets corresponding to packets already acknowledged by the mobile. The last link round-trip time estimate is updated once per transmission window.

    In addition to retransmitting packets depending on the number and type of acknowledgments received, the snoop module also performs retransmissions driven by timeouts. There are two types of timer interrupts in the module, the round- trip timer and the persist timer. The round-trip timer is based on the estimate of the smoothed round-trip time (srtt) of the last link. We compute this using the standard adaptive technique, srtt=(1- )*old_srtt+ *curr_rtt), with set to 0.25, so that integer shift operations can be used. The packet is retransmitted if an acknowledgment hasnt been received in twice this time. In order to limit the amount of time spent processing timer interrupts, we do not timeout more frequently than a threshold time, currently set to 40 ms. additionally; we trigger this timeout only after the first retransmission of a packet from the snoop cache, caused by the arrival of a duplicate acknowledgment. This also ensures that negligible number of (unnecessary) retransmissions occur for packets that have already reached the mobile host. The persist timer triggers a retransmission if there are unacknowledged packets in the cache, and if there has been no activity either from the sender or receiver for 200 ms. This timer also sets the number of expected DUPACKs to zero and the next expected acknowledgment to one more than the last ACK seen so far. These timers and their associated retransmissions are critical when packet losses are high (e.g., due to interference or movement), since they increase the number of transmission attempts and thereby increase the likelihood of the packet getting through sooner to the mobile host.

    As mentioned in the design of the routing protocol, there are three major components of the mobile routing system — the packet encapsulation at the home agent, the de-capsulation at the base stations and the beaconing system. The encapsulation and de-capsulation modules use data structures similar to those used by the snoop module. In-kernel data structures are used to maintain mappings between IP multicasts addresses and home addresses. These tables are configured by user-level daemons. The home agent uses this table to perform the encapsulation in the IP forwarding code. This same table is used in the forwarding and buffering BSs to identify which multicast packets are

    destined to which mobile hosts. Each of the 6

    buffering base stations store the packets transmitted to a mobile host in a circular buffer. The maximum number of packets to store is set to prevent data loss during handoff. In our current implementation, we store at most 12 packets, which correspond to between 24 and 72 ms of transfer time across the Wavelan link. During a handoff, the mobile host transmits to the new primary base station unique identifiers (IP IDs) of the last three packets it has received. The base station searches for these IDs in its circular buffer and frees all packets that arrived before them. The remaining TCP packets in the circular buffer are transmitted to the mobile host. If the IP IDs are not found, the entire circular buffer is sent.

    The beaconing system was implemented in three parts — a user level process at the base stations, a user level process at the mobile host and a kernel module at the mobile host. The process on the base station transmits a broadcast packet on the wireless network once per second. The beacon message contains the IP address of the base station and a timestamp. Each mobile host has a user-level beacon analysis process that listens for new beacons on the wireless network. When the process receives a beacon from a base station it has not heard before, it requests the kernel to add the base station to the list of active beacon sources. When a beacon from a listed base station arrives a mobile host, the kernel samples the signal strength of the wireless transmitter. The beacon analyzer process reads the signal strength samples and uses them to determine when handoff should occur.

  2. Performance

    We performed several experiments with the snoop module and routing protocol on our wireless tested and compared the resulting performance with unmodified TCP. We present the results of these experiments in this section. In the presence of no packet losses, the maximum throughput achieved by a TCP connection over the wireless link was about 1.6 Mbits/s. The rated maximum raw bandwidth of the wireless link was 2 Mbits/s. We present the results of data transfer from a fixed sender to a mobile receiver. These were obtained using the network configuration shown in Figure

  3. The sender TCP stack was based on TCP Reno, an implementation supporting fast retransmissions upon the arrival of three duplicate acknowledgments. The maximum possible window size for the connection was 64 KBytes and the maximum TCP segment size was 1460 bytes. In order to measure the performance of the implementation under controlled conditions, we used a Poisson-distributed bit error model. We generated aPoisson distribution for each bit-error rate and changed the TCP checksum of the packet at the base station if the error generator determined that the packet should be dropped at the receiver,

before forwarding the packet over the wireless link. The same operation was done for packets (acknowledgments) from the mobile host. We also experimented with using a two-state Markov error generator that more accurately modeled the wireless channel. The two states corresponded to periods of good connectivity and periods of poor connectivity. Poisson-distributed errors were generated at different rates in each state. Unfortunately, throughput measurements converged very slowly when using this error model and it was difficult to interpret the implications of the results. As a result, we used the Poisson error model across a wide range of bit- error rates to understand how the snoop module would perform in either the good or bad channel state.


We see that for error rates of over 5×10-7 (close to


We see that for error rates of over 5×10-7 (close to

Each run involved a 10 Mega Byte transfer and this was repeated ten times at each error rate. Figure 7 compares the throughput of a connection using the snoop module with that of a connection using an unmodified TCP implementation, for various Poisson-distributed bit-error rates shown on a log scale. The vertical error bars in the figure show the standard deviation of the receiver

the 2 Mb point on the x-axis of the graph) the snoop protocol.

the 2 Mb point on the x-axis of the graph) the snoop protocol.

Figure 6: Bit Error Rate-1 (1 error every x bits, on average)

TCP, achieving a throughput improvement factor of 1 to 20 depending on the bit error rate. In fact, the snoop protocol was robust and completed the run even when every other packet was being dropped over the last link, whereas the regular TCP connection didnt make any progress. Under conditions of very low bit error rates (< 5×10-7), we see little difference between the snoop protocol and unmodified TCP. At such low bit errors there is typically less than one error per transmitted window and unmodified TCP is quite robust at handling these. At these low error rates, snoop behaves as is it were not present and this ensures no degradation in performance.


A more detailed picture of the behavior of the connection can be seen can be seen in Figure 8, which plots the sequence numbers of the received TCP packets versus time for one of the experiments.

Figure 7: Sequence numbers for transfer to mobile host over channel with 3.8×10-6 (1/256kbps) BER.

These values were obtained using the tcpdump

[19] network monitoring tool. The figure shows the comparison of sequence number progression in a connection using the snoop protocol and a connection using unmodified TCP for a Poisson- distributed bit error rate of 3.9×10-6 (a bit error every 256 Kbits on average). We see that the snoop protocol maintains a high and consistent throughput. On the other hand, regular TCP unnecessarily invokes congestion control procedures several times during the duration of the connection. This phenomenon appears as the flat and empty regions of the curve and degrades the throughput significantly. For this particular run, the aggregate bandwidth with the snoop protocol was about 1 Mbit/s, while it was only about 0.25 Mbits/s for regular TCP. To isolate and measure the impact of handoff on TCP performance, we examined the performance of a TCP connection to the mobile host with regularly spaced handoffs between two base stations. As mentioned in Section 4, each base station sends out a beacon signal once per second. The presence of these beacons reduces the peak TCP throughput in the absence of errors and handoffs to 1.45 Mbits/s. In this experiment, the arrival of a beacon at the mobile host does not trigger an analysis of the signal strengths of the different base stations; instead, the mobile host uses the time elapsed since the last handoff to determine if a handoff should occur. In order to stress the performance impact of the handoff scheme on end-to-end performance, we performed several tests, varying the time between handoffs from 1 to 10 seconds. The results for different handoff rates are shown in Table1. These measurements show that even

frequent handoffs have very little impact on performance.

Time Between Handoffs (sec)

Throughput (Mbits/s)

Standard Deviation (Mbit/s)





















Table 1: Throughput received by the mobile host at different handoff


In a Real environment, handoffs are likely to occur much less frequently than once per second. The behavior of a connection experiencing handoff is shown in Figure 9. The figure plots the sequence numbers of a TCP connection to a mobile host with handoffs occurring every 10 seconds. We see that the data transfer progresses without any significant interruptions despite the presence of the handoffs. The throughput during this transfer was about 1.4 Mbits/s.

  1. Future Work

    We are currently in the process of measuring and optimizing the performance of the snoop protocol under various situations. These include wide-area connections to a mobile host and data transfers from a mobile host. We are also working on characterizing the behavior of TCP connections and the snoop module in the presence of real-life sources of interference. In addition to this, we have started working on improving the TCP performance of the Metricom system, a metropolitan- area packet relay network. This system has multiple wireless hops from the base station to a mobile host and operates at bandwidths of about 100 Kbits/s. Although there are several differences between this and the Wavelan, we believe that with minor modifications the snoop protocol will result in improved performance in this environment. Wireless networks of the future are likely to be heterogeneous where each host will simultaneously be connected to different wireless interfaces that may interfere with each other. An example of this is an in-building Wavelan network and a campus-wide packet relay network that also extends inside buildings. The problems of

    improving TCP performance, routing and handoff 8

    in such heterogeneous networks, characterizing the impact of interference on connection quality, and support for network-characteristic-aware applications are challenging ones with significant practical value [15].

  2. Summary

We have presented a set of additions and modifications to the standard Internet protocol stack to improve the performance of TCP in networks with wireless links and mobile hosts. This protocol works by modifying the network layer software at the base station and mobile host, and involves no other changes to any of the fixed hosts elsewhere in the network. The two main ideas of the new protocol address the problems of high bit-error rates on wireless links and data loss caused by handoffs. Our solution to the problem of bit-errors is to cache packets intended for the mobile host at the base station and perform local retransmissions across the wireless link. We eliminate losses caused by mobility by using a low latency, multicast-based handoff algorithm. We have implemented the new protocol stack on a wireless tested consisting of IBM ThinkPad laptops and i486 base stations running BSD/OS

2.0 communicating over a 2 Mbits/s AT&T Wavelan. Experiments showthat this protocol stack is significantly more robust than regular TCP in the presence of unreliable links, multiple errors in a window and user mobility. We have achieved performance improvements of up to 20 times over normal TCP/IP for data transfer from a fixed to a mobile host across a wide range of bit error rates, reduced handoff latency to between 5 and 70 ms and eliminated data loss during handoff.


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B. SRIRAMULU. He received his Diploma from Government Polytechnic Vijayawada in 1999, B. Tech degree from J.N.T.U Hyderabad in 2004, M. Tech degree from Andhra Univesiry in 2008.and he is short listed candidate for

doing another inwell 9

Prestigious institute of IIT-Madras in 2008 batch. And he had 6 years of Teaching Experience in Various Engineering colleges.Currently working as a Assistant Professor in VITW,Enikepadu,Vijayawada. His interesting areas are Network Security,Network Protocols.

SURESH. T. Currently working as a Assistant Professor in Vijaya Institute of Technology for Women (VITW) Enikepadu, Vijayawada. He pursuing his degree in J.N.T.U. kakinada. He Received B.Tech Degree from

J.N.T.U Hyderabad. He had 2 years of Teaching

and 3 years of Industry Experience. Interested domain is Network security along with this image processing.

M. RAMAKRISHNAM RAJU. He received M. Tech from University of JNTU Hyderabad in 2011. He is working as a Assistant Professor in Vijaya Institute of Technology for women, Vijayawada. And having 4 years of Teaching Experience and his research areas are Computer Networks, Compilers and Data Mining and Data Warehousing.


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