Date of Original Version



Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

Wireless links can exhibit high error rates due to attenuation, fading, or interfering active radiation sources. To make matters worse, error rates can be highly variable due to changes in the wireless environment. Researchers and developers have explored a wide range of solutions to optimize communication in this difficult error environment, including traditional end-to-end solutions, link-layer solutions, and solutions involving layer four processing inside the network. A significant challenge is ensuring that systems with multiple layers of error control avoid compromising performance by duplication of effort. We argue and demonstrate that protocol-independent link-level local error control can achieve high communication efficiency even in a highly variable error environment, that adaptation is important to achieve this efficiency, and that inter-layer coexistence is achievable. The logical link control layer of our WaveLAN-based experimental LAN includes three error control mechanisms: local retransmission, adaptive packet shrinking, and adaptive error coding. Measurements generated on a variety of network topologies and trace-based error environments demonstrate the TCP performance improvements and good coexistence with TCP's end-to-end retransmission strategy