TCP performance over Wi-Fi: joint impact of buffer and channel losses

Shiva Raj Pokhrel, Manoj Panda, Hai L. Vu, Michel Mandjes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


We propose an analytical model for a Wi-Fi network acting as a last-mile Internet access with multiple long-lived TCP connections on both the up and down links. Our model considers the joint impact of buffer losses at the access point, contention at the medium access control layer, and packet losses due to the wireless channel being erroneous. We show that the model accurately quantifies the probability of an arbitrary TCP packet being discarded, and the total throughput obtained on the up and down links. Furthermore, quantitative insights can be gained into the throughput that long-lived TCP flows achieve under the joint impact of all aforementioned types of losses. In particular, we find that the wireless channel errors and buffer overflows both lead to throughput unfairness, but that they do so in the opposite direction on the up and down links, respectively. We demonstrate that this insight can be exploited so as to significantly mitigate the throughput unfairness without compromising the total obtainable network throughput.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7164323
Pages (from-to)1279-1291
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • IEEE 802.11 WLAN
  • Congestion control
  • Fixed point
  • Wireless errors
  • Unfairness
  • TCP
  • Bandwidth-delay product

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