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The Impact of Efficient Flow Control and OS Features on TCP Performance over Satellite Links


Transmission Control Protocol is the layer 4 protocol over which over 90% of the Internet applications are based. The high latency peculiar of satellite links causes severe degradation of performance, especially if high bandwidth is available. In fact, due to the high Bandwidth Delay Product the pipe requires a long time to fill. To counteract such impairments many solutions have been proposed and some of them are actually implemented in real systems. These solutions are based either on the modification of the TCP algorithm, mainly the flow control and the recovery, or on the architecture, mainly on splitting the connection (eg, PEP – Performance Enhancing Proxies), which may even include the implementation of proprietary solutions. In both cases, the features of the Operating Systems in the end machines play a very important role because the size of the available buffer pool determines the initial slow start threshold and in general limits the performance of the flow control mechanism. In this paper we describe the main solutions proposed or adopted to improve TCP performance over satellite links and analyze through simulations their performance with respect to existing OSs. The optimization of the buffer dimension has been performed too and the main results are presented.

Paper: PDF file of paper

Information & Date

Satellite Communications Letters, , June. 2004


M. Luglio
C. Roseti
Mario Gerla