An ACK Buffering Method to Improve TCP Performance in Mobile Computing Environments


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E85-B    No.10    pp.2273-2281
Publication Date: 2002/10/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Wireless Communication Technology
TCP,  spurious timeout,  ACK,  throughput,  

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In mobile computing environments, a problem may exist between loss recovery mechanisms employed by the TCP (transmission control protocol) and RLP (radio link protocol). It is because that local retransmissions performed by the RLP could interfere with the TCP end-to-end error recovery when there are long and correlated packet losses due to bursty channel errors. That is, a spurious timeout would occur at the transport layer. In this paper, a new method is proposed to effectively suppress the occurrence of TCP spurious timeouts. In this new method a small number of ACKs (acknowledgements) is buffered at the base station prior to the emergence of every bad state period in the wireless channel, and these ACKs are henceforth released by the base station one at a time to reset the TCP sender's retransmission timer. Comprehensive comparisons between the proposed method and a baseline method are conducted through simulations to show that the improvement in throughput performance can be as large as 22%.