Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Analysis of Heterogeneous IP Traffic in Wireless Environment

Ilpo Järvinen

Master's thesis, March 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Computer Science.

Wireless access is expected to play a crucial role in the future of the Internet. The demands of the wireless environment are not always compatible with the assumptions that were made on the era of the wired links. At the same time, new services that take advantage of the advances in many areas of technology are invented. These services include delivery of mass media like television and radio, Internet phone calls, and video conferencing. The network must be able to deliver these services with acceptable performance and quality to the end user.

This thesis presents an experimental study to measure the performance of bulk data TCP transfers, streaming audio flows, and HTTP transfers which compete the limited bandwidth of the GPRS/UMTS-like wireless link. The wireless link characteristics are modeled with a wireless network emulator. We analyze how different competing workload types behave with regular TPC and how the active queue management, the Differentiated services (DiffServ), and a combination of TCP enhancements affect the performance and the quality of service. We test on four link types including an error-free link and the links with different Automatic Repeat reQuest (ARQ) persistency.

The analysis consists of comparing the resulting performance in different configurations based on defined metrics. We observed that DiffServ and Random Early Detection (RED) with Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) are useful, and in some conditions necessary, for quality of service and fairness because a long queuing delay and congestion related packet losses cause problems without DiffServ and RED. However, we observed situations, where there is still room for significant improvements if the link-level is aware of the quality of service. Only very error-prone link diminishes the benefits to nil. The combination of TCP enhancements improves performance. These include initial window of four, Control Block Interdependence (CBI) and Forward RTO recovery (F-RTO). The initial window of four helps a later starting TCP flow to start faster but generates congestion under some conditions. CBI prevents slow-start overshoot and balances slow start in the presence of error drops, and F-RTO reduces unnecessary retransmissions successfully.

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Last updated 03.05.2006

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