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Design and performance evaluation of multicast transport protocols over broadband satellite network Wang, Chen

Abstract

Over the past several years, a number of new satellite systems have been proposed in an attempt to provide high-speed Internet and multimedia services to businesses and home users. These proposals are driven by network operators' desire to reach end users who do not have cost effective access to other alternatives, such as fiber and cable. While the use of satellites provides the most flexible way to globally extend networks, most protocols are optimized to run on terrestrial networks. The primary differences between terrestrial and satellite connectivity are the link latency and error rates. Satellite links often suffer higher error rates and larger latency than terrestrial links. Terrestrial links also have much more available bandwidth than their satellite counterparts, making satellite bandwidth a precious resource that cannot be wasted. A number of network applications require the use of reliable multicast protocols to disseminate data from one source to a potentially large number of receivers. Broadband satellite networks are well suited to support such applications. Although reliable multicast protocols for the Internet have received much attention, not much work on these protocols for satellite networks has been conducted. The objective of our work is to develop window-based, satellite reliable multicast transport protocols (SRMTPs) for bulk data transfer over broadband satellite networks. The proposed protocols guarantee reliability while achieving high throughput and maintaining low end-to-end delay. Satellite onboard processing (OBP) is used to split uplink and downlink channels. A different automatic retransmission request (ARQ) is used for error recovery in each link. OBP can detect uplink packet losses in advance and report the losses to the source, thus avoiding the uplink losses faced by all downlink users. Onboard buffering (OBB) is employed to recover downlink errors to reduce retransmission time. We evaluated the SRMTP's performance through simulations. Results show that SRMTP generally outperforms the existing multicast protocol, MFTP (Multicast File Transfer Protocol), in terms of network delay and system throughput. The performance is further enhanced by OBP and OBB. Based on the simulation, we contend that SRMTPs are indeed scalable, efficient reliable multicast transport protocols over satellite broadband networks.

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