Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

From wired to wireless networks

The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is the most commonly used protocol for the Internet to get data from one network device to another. Until now, modern TCPs, such as the TCP Reno, have shown poor performance in wireless communication due to external interference. Covering this need, newly developed software can improve the efficient operation of the TCP technology over wireless, such as mobile and satellite links.
From wired to wireless networks
The TCP Reno offers end-to-end reliable connections over the wired Internet. Over the wired Internet, most packet losses are due to congestion. The TCP Reno involves congestion avoidance, as well as fast retransmission and recovery when sporadic packet losses take place. A packet is considered lost when partial acknowledgements are received at a sender.

In wireless connections, noise and external interference dominate, causing sporadic packet losses. In these environments, the TCP Reno congestion control techniques become insufficient, resulting in deterioration of its performance. Therefore, the use of additional link layer protocols are necessary, where new link-layer or splits connection approaches are utilised.

This project 's research efforts have been focused on handling wireless losses in these environments with the aid of the TCP Westwood. Its design allows the utilisation of the information resulting from the flow of the TCP acknowledgement packets. A TCP Westwood sender continuously uses a method for bandwidth estimation.

The bandwidth estimation measures the packet rate of the connection from the rate of returning acknowledgements using a low-pass filter. Hence, the technology makes TCP capable to respond to all losses by invoking congestion control and avoidance algorithms. In this way, it can provide higher throughput over wireless links while maintaining friendliness to TCP Reno connections for wired networks.

This promising technology can find many applications in the field of wireless Internet. It can be used for handling either data traffic or transmission of real time audio/video traffic over appropriate protocols. Moreover, it has the potential to become the necessary link between the wired and the wireless Internet.
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