Detecting TCP Retransmission Timeouts Non-related to Congestion in Multi-Hop Wireless Networks

Mi-Young PARK  Sang-Hwa CHUNG  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E93-D   No.12   pp.3331-3343
Publication Date: 2010/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E93.D.3331
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Information Network
Keyword: 
multi-hop wireless networks,  TCP,  retransmission timeouts,  RTOs non-related to congestion,  

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Summary: 
TCP's performance significantly degrades in multi-hop wireless networks because TCP's retransmission timeouts (RTOs) are frequently triggered regardless of congestion due to sudden delay and wireless transmission errors. Such RTOs non-related to congestions lead to TCP's unnecessary behaviors such as retransmitting all the outstanding packets which might be located in the bottleneck queue or reducing sharply its sending rate and increasing exponentially its back-off value even when the network is not congested. Since traditional TCP has no ability to identify if a RTO is triggered by congestion or not, it is unavoidable for TCP to underutilize available bandwidth by blindly reducing its sending rate for all the RTOs. In this paper, we propose an algorithm to detect the RTOs non-related to congestion in order to let TCP respond to the RTOs differently according to the cause. When a RTO is triggered, our algorithm estimates the queue usage in the network path during the go-back-N retransmissions, and decides if the RTO is triggered by congestion or not when the retransmissions end. If any RTO non-related to congestion is detected, our algorithm prevents TCP from increasing unnecessarily its back-off value as well as reducing needlessly its sending rate. Throughout the extensive simulation scenarios, we observed how frequently RTOs are triggered regardless of congestion, and evaluated our algorithm in terms of accuracy and goodput. The experiment results show that our algorithm has the highest accuracy among the previous works and the performance enhancement reaches up to 70% when our algorithm is applied to TCP.