Different from the traditional wired network, the fundamental cause of transmission congestion in wireless ad hoc networks is medium contention. How to utilize the congestion state from the MAC (Media Access Control) layer to adjust the transmission rate is core work for transport protocol design. However, recent works have shown that the existing cross-layer congestion detection solutions are too complex to be deployed or not able to characterize the congestion accurately. We first propose a new congestion metric called frame transmission efficiency (i.e., the ratio of successful transmission delay to the frame service delay), which describes the medium contention in a fast and accurate manner. We further present the design and implementation of RECN (ECN and the ratio of successful transmission delay to the frame service delay in the MAC layer, namely, the frame transmission efficiency), a general supporting scheme that adjusts the transport sending rate through a standard ECN (Explicit Congestion Notification) signaling method. Our method can be deployed on commodity switches with small firmware updates, while making no modification on end hosts. We integrate RECN transparently (i.e., without modification) with TCP on NS2 simulation. The experimental results show that RECN remarkably improves network goodput across multiple concurrent TCP flows.
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