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A survey of performance enhancement of transmission control protocol (TCP) in wireless ad hoc networks

Noor Mast12* and Thomas J Owens1

Author Affiliations

1 School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University, London, UK

2 Kohat University of Science and Technology, Kohat, Pakistan

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EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking 2011, 2011:96  doi:10.1186/1687-1499-2011-96

Published: 13 September 2011


Transmission control protocol (TCP), which provides reliable end-to-end data delivery, performs well in traditional wired network environments, while in wireless ad hoc networks, it does not perform well. Compared to wired networks, wireless ad hoc networks have some specific characteristics such as node mobility and a shared medium. Owing to these specific characteristics of wireless ad hoc networks, TCP faces particular problems with, for example, route failure, channel contention and high bit error rates. These factors are responsible for the performance degradation of TCP in wireless ad hoc networks. The research community has produced a wide range of proposals to improve the performance of TCP in wireless ad hoc networks. This article presents a survey of these proposals (approaches). A classification of TCP improvement proposals for wireless ad hoc networks is presented, which makes it easy to compare the proposals falling under the same category. Tables which summarize the approaches for quick overview are provided. Possible directions for further improvements in this area are suggested in the conclusions. The aim of the article is to enable the reader to quickly acquire an overview of the state of TCP in wireless ad hoc networks.