A Receiver-Centric Transport Protocol for Mobile Hosts with Heterogeneous Wireless Interfaces

Hung-Yun Hsieh, Kyu-Han Kim, Yujie Zhu, and Raghupathy Sivakumar
GNAN Research Group
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

MOBICOM 2003, September 14-19, San Diego, CA, USA


Numerous transport protocols have been proposed in related work for use by mobile hosts over wireless environments. A common theme among the design of such protocols is that they specifically address the distinct characteristics of the last-hop wireless link, such as random wireless errors, round-trip time variations, blackouts, handoffs, etc. In this paper, we argue that due to the defining role played by the wireless link on a connection's performance, locating the intelligence of a transport protocol at the mobile host that is adjacent to the wireless link can result in distinct performance advantages. To this end, we present a receiver-centric transport protocol called RCP (Reception Control Protocol) that is a TCP clone in its general behavior, but allows for better congestion control, loss recovery, and power management mechanisms compared to sender-centric approaches.

More importantly, in the context of recent trends where mobile hosts are increasingly being equipped with multiple interfaces providing access to heterogeneous wireless networks, we show that a receiver-centric protocol such as RCP can enable a powerful and comprehensive transport layer solution for such multi-homed hosts. Specifically, we describe how RCP can be used to provide: (i) a scalable solution to support interface specific congestion control for a single active connection; (ii) seamless server migration capability during handoffs; and (iii) effective bandwidth aggregation when receiving data through multiple interfaces, either from one server, or from multiple replicated servers. We use both packet level simulations, and real Internet experiments to evaluate the proposed protocol.

Presentation: [pdf (2239KB)]      Paper: [pdf (622KB)]