Improving TCP Performance in Ad Hoc Networks Using Signal Strength Based Link Management

Mobility in ad hoc networks causes frequent link failures, which in turn causes packet losses. TCP attributes these packet losses to congestion. This incorrect inference results in frequent TCP re-transmission time-outs and therefore a degradation in TCP performance even at light loads. We propose mechanisms that are based on signal strength measurements to alleviate such packet losses due to mobility. Our key ideas are (a) if the signal strength measurements indicate that a link failure is most likely due to a neighbor moving out of range, in reaction, facilitate the use of temporary higher transmission power to keep the link alive and, (b) if the signal strength measurements indicate that a link is likely to fail, initiate a route re-discovery proactively before the link actually fails. We make changes at theMACand the routing layers to predict link failures and estimate if a link failure is due to mobility. We also propose a simple mechanism at the MAC layer that can help alleviate false link failures, which occur due to congestion when the IEEE 802.11 MAC protocol is used. We compare the above proactive and reactive schemes and also demonstrate the benefits of using them together and along with our MAC layer extension. We show that, in high mobility, the goodput of a TCP session can be improved by as much as 75% at light loads (when there is only one TCP session in the network) when our methods are incorporated. When the network is heavily loaded (i.e., there are multiple TCP sessions in the network), the proposed schemes can improve the aggregate goodput of the TCP sessions by about 14–30%, on average.

Published in:
ad hoc networks, 3, 2, 175-191

 Record created 2005-10-20, last modified 2018-03-17

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