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SCTP Performance Improvement for Reliable

End-to-end Communication in Ad Hoc Networks

Yusuke Takemoto, Junichi Funasaka, Satoshi Teshima, Tomoyuki Ohta, and Yoshiaki Kakuda
Graduate School of Information Sciences, Hiroshima City University, Japan
{takemoto@pe.ce., funa@, teshima@pe.ce., ohta@, kakuda@}

Abstract-When ubiquitous networks pervade in future, ap- Secondly, the throughput of each TCP flow becomes signif-
plications such as file transfer and web browsing will be used icantly worse in mobile ad hoc networks since the connection
also on ad-hoc networks. End-to-end reliable communication is often broken due to the node movement. TCP does not
is necessary for these applications, and TCP has usually been
used as a transport protocol. However, it is known that the assume such connection breaks, so it regards that as a sign
performance of fairness and transfer rate decreases when TCP of congestion and the throughput is adjusted to be low
is used on ad hoc networks. Particularly, multi-connection flows and packet sending interval is set to be large. Thirdly, the
of TCP have danger of unfair communication among all flows acknowledgment for each data packet spends a certain part
sharing a wireless link. Then, we pay attention to the multi- of the wireless channel bandwidth and often causes wireless
stream mechanism of SCTP to improve unfair communication of
TCP multi-connection. SCTP can manage multiple data streams channel collisions.
in one association by using the multi-stream mechanism. The In our research, the goal is to develop a new transport
performance of reliable transport protocols such as TCP and protocol which assures a reliable data transfer for upper layer
SCTP easily suffers from frequent route failures and contention applications in ad hoc networks. The multiple data transfer is
on the wireless channel. To improve the problem for mobile ad assumed in this paper since it is expected to be effective for
hoc networks, we propose a scheme which adds the mechanism
of Fixed RTO and dynamic delayed SACK to SCTP (shortly, the avoiding HOL problems.
proposal). And, we evaluated the proposal by a network sim ulator We adopt SCTP [3] as a basement protocol for our new
QualNet. protocol, since SCTP has a different mechanism from TCP to
realize the concurrent multiple data transfer, i.e. multi-stream,
I. INTRODUCTION as well as it is also to provide a high reliable end-to-end
communication as a successor of TCP. We found some points
Along with the increased use of the ad hoc network in the in the original SCTP which is not suitable for ad hoc networks,
future, applications such as file transfer and web browsing can so the Fixed-RTO and the dynamic delayed acknowledgement
be used in mobile ad hoc networks. TCP [1] is mostly used mechanism are added to the original SCTP. The proposal has
as the protocol in the transport layer for these applications. been evaluated through simulation experiments using network
However, since TCP is designed for wired networks, it is not simulator QualNet [4] and it is confirmed that our proposal
suitable for wireless networks such as ad hoc networks and outperforms other transport protocols.
has many problems on the fairness among TCP flows and the The rest of the paper is organized as follows. In Section II,
throughput of each flow [2]. we describe the issues on TCP and SCTP which are transport
Firstly, there is the possibility that the fairness among TCP protocols to provide the reliable end-to-end communication in
flows becomes worse when some flow use several connections mobile ad hoc networks. Section III proposes an improved
at the same time because of the connection based congestion SCTP. Section IV shows the performance evaluation of the
control of TCP. Especially in ad hoc networks, since a TCP improved SCTP. Finally, Section V concludes this paper with
flow influences the other TCP flow due to the radio interfer- the future works.
ence even if both TCP flows do not share the wireless link with
each other, it is very important to discuss the fairness among II. ISSUES ON TRANSPORT PROTOCOLS IN MOBILE AD
TCP flows. Although the multi-connection transfer, which Hoc NETWORKS
uses multiple connections concurrently, can reduce the fairness TCP and SCTP are transport protocols to provide the reli-
among TCP flows, it is expected to solve the HOL (Head-of- able end-to-end communication. This section describes issues
the-Line) blocking problem. For example, when browsing Web on such transport protocols over mobile ad hoc networks.
pages composed of many objects through one TCP connection,
we must wait for the completion of the previous transfer A. Issues on Fairness of Multi-connection in rep
before transferring the following objects. On the other hand, TCP has been designed to transfer a data set through one
when using multiple connections at the same time, we can connection, so we must establish multiple connections to send
download some objects quickly using the other connections several data sets simultaneously. Since TCP congestion control
even if packet losses occur in a connection provided that only is also considered as connection based, the total window size
this connection suffers from packet losses. of several connections is larger than that of one connection.

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800 .
! .. ~
. . -·------r-------------------------
(0 ", __ ~Wl __ ,,10
700 ------·-----------------l-:-:-:-:-;-;-·-~

.--: :
600 -----------:-;-·...--------r--------------------------r-------------------------


..-----. 0 ..c

flow! 0 300
TCP f1ow1 ----

: ~~~:~~~ ~~~ :::::::::::::::::::1::::::::::::::::::::::::


Fig. 1. Network topology for preliminary experiments.
1 2 3 4
number of data streams

Fig. 2. The effect of number of data streams on goodput.

If a service uses one connection and another does several
connections, the throughput per service is different between
them. That is, unfair sharing can be experienced. FAIRNESS INDEX.
On the other hand, SCTP has a mechanism called multi-
stream, which manages several data transfers through one
connection (called association in SCTP.) The SCTP congestion
control is based on association, so the multiple transfer within
an association and only one transfer within an association is
managed fairly even when they interfere with each other.
As a preliminary experiment, the mutual interference among
flows is evaluated for TCP and SCTP through simulation
experiments with the topology depicted in Figure 1. The circles B. Route Failure Caused by Node Movement
in Figure 1 mean nodes, and the figure in a circle shows the When some nodes move and a route composed of them is
node number. The two flows, flow 1 from node 1 to node 6 split, we cannot transfer the application data till a new route is
and flow 2 from node 2 to node 7, share the link between created. Especially when the node speed is high, the number of
node 3 and node 5. In this experiment, we set the number route failures tends to be large, so the data transfer allowable
of data transferred by flow 1 to one and set that by flow 2 time becomes short and the throughput gets lower. Moreover,
as the range between one and four, in order to estimate the when designing the transport layer mechanism without noti-
effect of multiple data transfers. The performance is evaluated fication from the lower layer, we cannot determine when to
in terms of goodput and fairness. Here, we define the goodput restart data transfer. The delay in noticing the route recreated
as the amount of received unique data per unit time, so it also reduces the effective throughput. TCP and SCTP have
is different from the throughput which includes retransmitted similar RTO (Retransmission Time Out) backoff procedures
data. In this paper, we evaluate the fairness of communication to avoid the congestion collision. The RTO is multiplied by
flows in terms of fairness index. The fairness index is defined two each time a retransmission time out occurs successively.
as expression (1), where N means the number of flows and Xi As a result, the data transfer restart is delayed from the route
means the goodput of the i-th flow. The fairness index ranges restoration.
from 0 to 1, and the higher value close to 1 shows that the
C. Packet Collision within a Wireless Channel
fairness is high.
Generally speaking, a packet can collide with another packet
because a node uses the same wireless channel both to send
(1) and to receive packets. Since reliable transport protocols such
as TCP and SCTP use acknowledgement packets to assure the
complete file transfer, they are possible to collide with the data
packets sent in the opposite direction within the same wireless
The results observed by simulation experiments are shown
in Figure 2 and Table I. From Figure 2, it is observed that
the goodput of flow 2 increases when the number of multiple III. PROPOSED IMPROVEMENT ON SCTP
data transfers becomes large. However, the goodput of flow In this paper, we add Fixed-RTO and dynamic delayed
1 decreases by the increment of goodput of flow 2, and it acknowledgment mechanisms to SCTP to address route failure
is also confirmed by the result in Table I that fair sharing and packet collision problems.
is not achieved. On the other hand, the goodput of each
SCTP flow remains steady even when the number of multiple A. Fixed-RTO
data transfers increases. Thus, SCTP can realize high fairness TCP-Fixed RTO [6] has been proposed to detect the route
among flows. restoration immediately and to address the above-mentioned

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Base_TSN = Initial TSN; / * (a) */
X : retransmission restart of '"
~ DataCnt = 0 ;

I m"~:·"~l
Q; restart of
data transmission

while (Connection_ESTABLISHED) {
~ .. .
if (Da t a Pa c k e t Re c e i v e d) {
w w ~X ~f RTO n = receivedTSN - Base_TSN ;

w::..._________ Time
~mg if (n < L1) d = 1;
else if (n < L2) d = 2;
(a) TCP ,SCTP (b) FixedRTO else if (n < L3) d = 3;
else d = 4; / * (b) * /
Fig. 3. Retransm ission behavior of existing TCP and TCP-FixedRTO.
if (Da t a Pa c k e t I n t e r v a l > T &&
UpdatedCummulativeTSN )
sender I receiver) sender I I receiver I Base TSN = cummulativeTSN; / * (c) */
if (++Da t a Cn t >= d I I fasttimer timeout )
b:- GenerateSACK () ;
DataCnt = 0;

~.. -_ .. - T
-------- ..------ -"---j
- ..
Data Chunk

SACK Chunk
.... -

........ --_.. -

~ ........ ----
Fig. 5. Dynam ic delayed acknowledgment algorithm suitable for MANETs.

(a) d= 2 (b) d =4 4(a), the standard SCTP also acknowledges every two packets,
including information of two received data packets. As the
Fig. 4. Behavior of dynamic delayed acknowledgment. standard SCTP does, when a successive data packet has not
come and 200ms has passed after the receipt of a packet, it
returns a SACK acknowledging only one data packet.
issues. This mechanism counts the number of successive Figure 4(b) shows the behavior of the dynamic delayed
retransmission timeout events, and it fixes the RTO value even acknowledgment when d equals to four. Since it can send
if some retransmission timeout events follow after the count a SACK acknowledging four data packets, the number of
exceeds a certain threshold. Figure 3(b) shows an example SACKs is much smaller than the d = 2 case, while it can
of Fixed-RTO behavior when the threshold is set to three. reduce the performance when immediate replies are necessary,
As shown in Figure 3(b), since the RTO value is fixed after for example, when timeout occurs and the window size has not
three successive retransmission timeout events, the Fixed- been extended enough. If d = 4 and the window size equals
RTO mechanism can restart data transfers immediately after to two chunks, since at most two chunks are transferred at
the route restoration. Fixed RTO eliminates the unnecessary the same time, we must wait for the 200ms timeout and the
waiting time to achieve higher performance, while it has risk performance deteriorates.
of making the congestion worse when the timeout is caused However, the existing method [7] does not take into account
by the congestion in the network. the situation where data packets do not come for a while. We
applied the method to SCTP and extended it to detect the long
B. Dynamic Delayed Acknowledgment Suitable for MANET receiving interval so that the delayed acknowledgment interval
SCTP manages chunks (like segments in TCP) as transfer d is dynamically changed also in such a case. Figure 5 shows
unit and checks the data receipt by SACKs. We propose a our dynamic delayed acknowledgment algorithm suitable for
dynamic delayed acknowledgment scheme to avoid collisions MANET, where Base_TSN means the basement to estimate
within a wireless channel by decreasing the SACKs in number the TSN (Transmission Sequence Number) progress, T means
[7]. The data receiver infers the current network condition a certain threshold, and L1 , L2 , L3 to be 2, 4, 8 instead of
from the receiving interval of data chunks according to the 2,5 ,9 adopted by the existing method [7]. As shown in Figure
TSN (Transmission Sequence Number), and the SACK inter- 5(a), we set Base_T S N to the TSN of the first data chunk.
val d is changed between one and four dynamically to adapt to Comparing the received TSN with the Base_TSN , d is
the speculated network condition. Here, d means the maximum changed ranging from one to four (Figure 5(b)) instead of
number of acknowledgements organized into one ACK packet. the first sequence number adopted by the existing method.
If the sequence number away from the beginning n satisfies The data receiver records the receiving time of the previous
n < L1 then d = 1, if L1 <= n < L2 then d = 2, if data chunk. If the interval from the previous receipt is larger
L2 <= n < L3 then d = 3, and if L3 < n then d = 4. than the threshold T and the current data chunks progress the
Figure 4(a) shows an example timeline of dynamic delayed cumulative TSN, Basc_T S N is updated to be the current TSN
acknowledgements when d equals to two. As shown in Figure as shown in Figure 5(c) while the existing method only takes

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TABL E II 1400

Simulator QualNet verA.O.I

1000 - - rEm T- m
fJi T
~ -
MAC protocol 802.llb ...
Bandwidth [Mbps] II D-
"0 600 - - -T - r - -- -
Routing protocol DSR [8], AODV[IO], OLSR[9] 0
- - -- - - -
Simulatoin time [sec] 300
Data packet size [byte]
Received buffer in
transport layer [Kbyte]
200 -





Transmission range [m] 250 ID TCP DTCP-FR DSCTP PROPOSAL I
Number of experiments 50
Confidence interval [%] 95 Fig. 7. Average goodput of each flow in the grid topology.

flow4 flowS flow6 1200m

QQQ 0- D_ ~O 0 __ .9 __ ':0_ 9- - > e 9-

~~ 6 c1
000000 0 0
W3 0
'? '? '? -0 300m o 0 0 0
0- - - - _0::. - - - - .D_ - - - - -0- - -> e

flOW20 $ $ $ -0
000000 0
o 0 0
0 0

0 0 0
flOW10 $ $ $ -0 o sender (fixed) • receiver (fixed)
o forward ing node -> data flow
666 - -

Fig. 8. Network topology in simukation experiment II.

Fig. 6. Gr id topology.

flows 4, 5, and 6 increase where as those of flows I, 2, and 3

into account the beginning phase of the data transfer. As an
decre ase. The goodput of the proposal becomes 8.3 % more
exception, if the data receiver finds a packet reorder, a SACK
than that of SCTP.
must be returned imm ediately.
As mentioned above, the dynamic delayed acknowledgment B. Simulation Experim ent 11
mechanism reduces the SACK sending interval when the data
receiving interval is large, and it extends the SACK sending We show the simulation environment in Table II. Figure
interval to reduce packet collisions within a wireless channel 8 shows the network topology in MANETs, where the field
when data chunks are delivered continuously. size is l200m x 300m and the total numb er of nodes in the
network is 50. In the field, six nodes which serve as a source
IV. SI M U L ATION EVALUAT I ON node and a destination node are fixed at both sides , and the
In order to show the effectiveness of the proposal regardless other nodes are always moving around the network according
of routing protocols for MAN ETs, we have evaluated TCP, to the random waypoint mod es [II]. The number of SD pairs
TCP-Fixed RTO (TCP-FR), SCTP, and the proposal through is 3 and the maximum node moving speed varies from I to
simulation experiments. We use QualNet as a simulator and 10 (m/s).
apply QualNet SCTP Module[5] to it. We have evaluated transport protocols, which are TCP, TCP-
FixedRTO (TCP- FR), SCTP, and Proposal using AODV OLSR
A. Simulation Experiment I and DSR as a routing protocol in each case.
We have conducted simulation experiments using the grid Figure 9 shows the average goodput in case of AODV,
topology as shown in Figure 6. Table II shows the parameters OLSR, and DSR .
used in the simulation experiments. In the grid topology, the At first, we focus on the impa ct of routing protocols on the
numbers of data streams in flows I, 2, and 3 are set to one, goodput. As shown in Figure 9, in any tran sport protocols,
and the data streams in flows 4, 5, and 6 are evaluated in cases DSR has the highest goodput, whil e OLSR has the lowest
that the numbers of data streams are set to three, respectively. goodput. Since OLSR periodically broadcasts control packet to
Figures 7 shows the average goodput of each flow in the maintain the routing table and control packets collide with data
grid topology. As shown in Figure 7, in case that the multi- packets frequently, data delivery ratio decreases. On the other
connection mechanism is introduced in TCP, the goodputs of hand, since AODV and DSR create rout es only when a route

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1400 ,'============---, 300 1800
T 1600
~l rr

ro 1400 -rtrtrf -
- rtTf~ - rhhf l~ -

] 200 ] 1200
800 ~
"'5 150 -ff ~1000
% 800

"8 "8 - rtf -rt~· ~ 600 - - - -

o 100
50 -

-r - 400 -
200 -

Node Sp~ed [rn/ s] 10

Node Sp~ed lm/ sl
Node Sp~ed [m/ 5]

(a) AODV (b) OLSR (c) DSR

Fig. 9. Average goodput.

request is invoked, they have fewer control packets and control FAIR N ESS IND EX IN CASE O F SI NGLE CO NNECTI O N .
packets do not often collide with data packets. The reason why
DSR has the highest goodput is that it does not have identical
Node moving speed [m/sec]
routes from the source node to the destination node and vice
1 5 10
versa. Therefore, control packets and data packets does not
TCP 0.9872 0.9890 0.9959
often collide on the route between the source node and the
TCP-FR 0.9810 0.9891 0.9963
destination node.
SCTP 0.9914 0.9971 0.9898
Next, we focus on the impact of transport protocols on
PROPOSAL 0.9830 0.9871 0.9889
the goodput. As shown in Figure 9, in case of AODV and
OLSR, the goodput of TCP-FR becomes higher than that of
TCP because Fixed-RTO efficiently works. Besides, since the
goodput of the proposal becomes higher than that of other
schemes, both Fixed-RTO and the dynamic delayed acknowl- perform the multi-connection transfer in case of the multi-
edgement mechanism are efficiently working. However, in connection. In this experiment, DSR is adopted as a routing
case that the node moving speed is 10 mis, goodputs of the protocol because it has the highest goodput.
proposal and TCP-FR do not make any difference. It seems Tables III and IV show the values of F airne ssI ndex in
that the windows size does not extend and the dynamic delayed case of the single connection communication and mutlicon-
acknowledgement mechanism does not work because the route nection communication, respectively. As shown in Table III,
break often occurs due to the node movement and packet in case of the single connection, the F airnessI ndex values of
collision. all transport protocols do not make any difference. As shown
In case of DSR, since goodputs of TCP and TCP-FR do in Table IV, in case of multi-connection, the FairnessIndex
not make any difference, it seems that Fixed-RTO does not values ofTCP and TCP-FR reduce in comparison with the case
work efficiently. This is because packet collision does not often of single connection. However, the F airnessI ndex values of
occur and retransmission time out is not invoked compared SCTP and the proposal are the same as the case of single
to AODV and OLSR. On the contrary, the dynamic delayed connection. As a result, we can say that SCTP and the proposal
acknowledgement mechanism is efficiently working because can manage each flow fairly in comparison with TCP and
the proposal has higher goodput than the other schemes. TCP-FR.
From simulation experiments, DSR gets the highest goodput Figure II shows the average goodput in case of the single
in routing protocols and the proposal gets the highest goodput connection and multi-conne ction communications. Compared
in transport protocols. Consequently, we can say that the with the case of single connection, the average goodputs of
proposal works efficiently. TCP and TCP-FR significantly decrease in case of multi-
connection due to the unfair communication. In addition, the
C. Simulation Experiment III average goodput of SCTP and the proposal does not have the
We evaluate the fairness in case of multi-connection com- big difference between the case of single connection and multi-
munication. Figure 10 shows the network topology in simula- connection because of the multi-stream mechanism.
tion experiments. In the field, three fixed nodes which serve Consequently, multi-stream mechanism of SCTP is effi-
as a source node send data packets to one destination node, ciently working in mobile ad hoc network environment and
and the other nodes are always moving around the network. provides the fair communications among flows. We can say
All flows perform the singe connection transfer in case of the that the proposal can not only provide the fair communication
single connection, while two flows except for the central flow among flows but also obtain higher goodput.

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1400 1400

11 1200
~ 10 00 -+f t ~ 10 00 - t
~ 800 -
rIo- .0
~ 800
~ _ ~-t + rr
t _ ~ -+1= ~
% 600 -
,-----r=Fr+Ff % - rT

600 - -
o o r+
o 400 - - - - o
o 400 - - ++ -

200 - - - - - - -
o o
5 10 5 10
Node Speed [m/sJ Node Spee d [m/ sJ
(a) Single connect ion com munication. (b) Multi-connection com municat ion.

Fig. I I. Average Goo dput.


o-,f)_ Q
o 0 0 % 0
0 This work was supported in part by the Ministry of Internal
~ -~-@--_Q 0 0 0 Affairs and Communications of Japan under Grant-in-Aid for
o 0 00 0 0 0 O------~. Strategic Information and Communications R&D Promotion
oo ..0 - -0 "0 --<3'
0 0 ~ __ ~- Programme (SCOP E), the Ministry of Education, Science ,
a0 0
000 Sports and Culture of Japan under Grant-in-Aid for Scientific
Research (C) (No.18500062) and Hiroshima City University
o sender (fixed) • receiver (f ixed) 0 forwarding node under their research grants.
~ data flow (single) - - ... data flow (multi)
Fig. 10. Network topology in simulat ion experiment III.
[I] J.Postel,: "Transmission control protoco l-TC p," RFC 793, 1981.
[2] AA. Hanbali, E.Altm an, and P.Nain , "A survey of TC p over ad hoc
networks," IEEE Comm unications Surveys & Tutorials, vo!.7, no.3,
2005 .
[31 R.Stewart, cd., " Stream control transmission protocol, " RFC 4960,
200 7.
[4] "Qualnet network simulator by scalable network techn ologies,"
Node moving speed [m/sec]
http://www. scalab l.
1 5 10 (5) I.Aydin, R.Ge, P.Nataraj an, and CC .Shen, " Performance evaluation of
TCP 0.9379 0.9643 0.9553 SCTp in mobil e ad hoc network ," Technical Report 2005-1 8, Univers ity
o f Delaware, Newark, DE, 2005.
TCP-FR 0.9481 0.9760 0.9687 (6) T'Dycr, and R.Boppana, "A comparison of TCl' performance over three
SCTP 0.9842 0.9922 0.9927 routing proto co ls for mobi le ad hoc networks," Proc. ACM MOBlHOC,
PROPOSAL 0.9845 0.9777 0.9834 pp.56- 66, 200 I.
(7) E. Altman and T Jimen ez, "Novel Delayed ACK Techniques for
Impro ving TCp Performanc e in Multihop Wireless Networks," Proc.
Pers. Wireless Commun., pp. 237-253, 2003.
(8) DJohnson, D.Maltz, and Yl lu, "The dynamic source routing protocol
V. CO NC L USIO N for mob ile ad hoc networks( DSR) for mobile ad hoc network s for IPv4,"
RFC 4728 , 2007 .
(9) TClauscn, cd., "Optimized link state routing protocol," RFC 3626, 2003 .
In this paper, in order to enhance the performance of (10) C.Perkins, E.Belding-Royer, and S. Das, "Ad hoc on-demand distance
highly reliable end-to-end communications in ad hoc networks, vector (AODV) rout ing," RFC 3561, 2003 .
a mechanism adding Fixed RTO and dynamic delayed ac- [II) J.B roch, D.A.Malts , D.BJ ohnson, Y C.Hu , and JJetcheva, "A per-
forman ce comparison of mult i-hop wireless ad hoc network rout ing
knowledgment features suitable for MANET to the original protocols," Proc. ACM/IEEE MOBI COM'98, pp.85-97, 1998.
SCTP is propo sed. Through simulation experiments, we have
confirmed that thanks to Fixed RTO and dynamic delayed
acknowledgement features suitable for MANET, the proposal
outperforms the existing TCP and SCTP schemes.
In our future work, the effect of the field size or node
movement on TCP and SCTP should be clarified. We have to
validate the parameter and the algorithm of dynamic delayed
acknowledgment scheme. Besides , the proposal might be
improved when it is appli ed to a larger ad hoc network.

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