Implementing an adaptive TCP fairness while exploiting 802.11e over wireless mesh networks

Scott Fowler*, Marc A. Eberhard, Keith J. Blow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the use of 802.11e MAC to resolve the transmission control protocol (TCP) unfairness. Design/methodology/approach: The paper shows how a TCP sender may adapt its transmission rate using the number of hops and the standard deviation of recently measured round-trip times to address the TCP unfairness. Findings: Simulation results show that the proposed techniques provide even throughput by providing TCP fairness as the number of hops increases over a wireless mesh network (WMN). Research limitations/implications: Future work will examine the performance of TCP over routing protocols, which use different routing metrics. Other future work is scalability over WMNs. Since scalability is a problem with communication in multi-hop, carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) will be compared with time division multiple access (TDMA) and a hybrid of TDMA and code division multiple access (CDMA) will be designed that works with TCP and other traffic. Finally, to further improve network performance and also increase network capacity of TCP for WMNs, the usage of multiple channels instead of only a single fixed channel will be exploited. Practical implications: By allowing the tuning of the 802.11e MAC parameters that have previously been constant in 802.11 MAC, the paper proposes the usage of 802.11e MAC on a per class basis by collecting the TCP ACK into a single class and a novel congestion control method for TCP over a WMN. The key feature of the proposed TCP algorithm is the detection of congestion by measuring the fluctuation of RTT of the TCP ACK samples via the standard deviation, plus the combined the 802.11e AIFS and CWmin allowing the TCP ACK to be prioritised which allows the TCP ACKs will match the volume of the TCP data packets. While 802.11e MAC provides flexibility and flow/congestion control mechanism, the challenge is to take advantage of these features in 802.11e MAC. Originality/value: With 802.11 MAC not having flexibility and flow/congestion control mechanisms implemented with TCP, these contribute to TCP unfairness with competing flows. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-294
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • protocols
  • radio networks
  • wireless


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