TCP Performance Analysis of Packet Buffering in Mobile IP Based Networks

Kyeong HUR  Kyun Hyon TCHAH  Doo Seop EOM  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E87-B    No.11    pp.3361-3369
Publication Date: 2004/11/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: LETTER
Category: Internet
TCP,  Mobile IP,  handoff,  packet buffering,  

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To prevent performance degradation of TCP due to packet losses in the smooth handoff by the route optimization extension of Mobile IP standard, a few packet buffering methods have been proposed. The packet buffering at the BS recovers the packets dropped during an inter-subnetwork handoff, by forwarding the buffered packets at the previous BS to the new BS to which the mobile host is connected after handoff. However, when the mobile host user moves to a congested BS in a new foreign subnetwork, those buffered packets are likely to be dropped at the new BS. Thus, as well as the TCP connections of the mobile host which have moved into the new BS, the already existing TCP connections of the new BS experience severe performance degradation. This effect is due to the increased congestion by the forwarded burst packets; all of the TCP connections can initiate their congestion control algorithms simultaneously, i.e., global synchronization. This paper will consider a general case where a mobile host user moves into a congested BS of a new foreign subnetwork. We analyze the influence of the packet buffering on the TCP performance in the new BS, for the Drop-Tail and Random Early Detection (RED) buffers. Simulation results show that although the RED buffer gives better handoff performance than the Drop-Tail buffer, it cannot avoid a large decrease in the TCP throughputs due to global synchronization, when a TCP connection is added at the BS by an inter-subnetwork handoff. Finally, we discuss some methods that can address the negative effect of the packet buffering method.