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Congestion Control Algorithms for the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP)

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Title: Congestion Control Algorithms for the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP)
Author(s): Raitahila, Iivo
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Tietojenkäsittelytieteen osasto
Discipline: Tietojenkäsittelytiede
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2019
The Internet of Things (IoT) consists of physical devices, such as temperature sensors and lights, that are connected to the Internet. The devices are typically battery powered and are constrained by their low processing power, memory and low bitrate wireless communication links. The vast amount of IoT devices can cause heavy congestion in the Internet if congestion is not properly addressed. The Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) is an HTTP-like protocol for constrained devices built on top of UDP. CoAP includes a simple congestion control algorithm (DefaultCoAP). CoAP Simple Congestion Control/Advanced (CoCoA) is a more sophisticated alternative for DefaultCoAP. CoAP can also be run over TCP with TCP's congestion control mechanisms. The focus of this thesis is to study CoAP's congestion control. Shortcomings of DefaultCoAP and CoCoA are identified using empirical performance evaluations conducted in an emulated IoT environment. In a scenario with hundreds of clients and a large buffer in the bottleneck router, DefaultCoAP does not adapt to the long queuing delay. In a similar scenario where short-lived clients exchange only a small amount of messages, CoCoA clients are unable to sample a round-trip delay time. Both of these situations are severe enough to cause a congestion collapse, where most of the link bandwidth is wasted on unnecessary retransmissions. A new retransmission timeout and congestion control algorithm called Fast-Slow Retransmission Timeout (FASOR) is congestion safe in these two scenarios and is even able to outperform CoAP over TCP. FASOR with accurate round-trip delay samples is able to outperform basic FASOR in the challenging and realistic scenario with short-lived clients and an error-prone link.

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