TCP-DCR: A Novel Protocol for Tolerating Wireless Channel Errors

Sumitha Bhandarkar, Nauzad Erach Sadry, A. L.Narasimha Reddy, Nitin H. Vaidya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents TCP-DCR, a set of simple modifications to the TCP protocol to improve its robustness to channel errors in wireless networks. TCP-DCR is based on the simple idea of allowing the link-level mechanism to recover the packets lost, due to channel errors, thereby limiting the response of the transport protocol to mostly congestion losses. This is done by delaying the triggering of congestion response algorithms for a small bounded period of time r to allow the link-level retransmissions to recover the loss due to channel errors. If at the end of the delay r the packet is not recovered, then it is treated as a packet lost due to congestion. We analyze TCP-DCR to show that the delay in congestion response does not impact the fairness towards the native implementations of TCP that respond to congestion immediately after receiving three dupacks. We evaluate TCP-DCR through simulations to show that it offers significantly better performance when channel errors contribute more towards packet losses in the network with no or minimal impact on the performance when congestion is the primary cause for packet loss. We also present an analysis to show that protocol evaluation in the wireless networks is significantly influenced by the number of flows in the network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-529
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • TCP
  • Wireless network
  • channel errors
  • delayed congestion response
  • local recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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