An active-passive measurement study of TCP performance over LTE on high-speed rails

Jing Wang, Yufan Zheng, Yunzhe Ni, Chenren Xu, Feng Qian, Wangyang Li, Wantong Jiang, Yihua Cheng, Zhuo Cheng, Yuanjie Li, Xiufeng Xie, Yi Sun, Zhongfeng Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

High-speed rail (HSR) systems potentially provide a more efficient way of door-to-door transportation than airplane. However, they also pose unprecedented challenges in delivering seamless Internet service for on-board passengers. In this paper, we conduct a large-scale active-passive measurement study of TCP performance over LTE on HSR. Our measurement targets the HSR routes in China operating at above 300 km/h. We performed extensive data collection through both controlled setting and passive monitoring, obtaining 1732.9 GB data collected over 135719 km of trips. Leveraging such a unique dataset, we measure important performance metrics such as TCP goodput, latency, loss rate, as well as key characteristics of TCP flows, application breakdown, and users' behaviors. We further quantitatively study the impact of frequent cellular handover on HSR networking performance, and conduct in-depth examination of the performance of two widely deployed transport-layer protocols: TCP CUBIC and TCP BBR. Our findings reveal the performance of today's commercial HSR networks “in the wild”, as well as identify several performance inefficiencies, which motivate us to design a simple yet effective congestion control algorithm based on BBR to further boost the throughput by up to 36.5%. They together highlight the need to develop dedicated protocol mechanisms that are friendly to extreme mobility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMobiCom 2019 - Proceedings of the 25th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450361699
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 7 2019
Event25th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2019 - Los Cabos, Mexico
Duration: Oct 21 2019Oct 25 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM

Conference

Conference25th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2019
CountryMexico
CityLos Cabos
Period10/21/1910/25/19

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the reviewers and our shepherd, Dr. Matt Welsh in particular, for their constructive critique and comments, all of which have helped us greatly improve this paper. This work is supported in part by National Key Research and Development Plan, China (Grant No. 2016YFB1001200), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61802007 and 61672499) and Science and Technology Innovation Project of Foshan City, China (Grant No. 2015IT100095).

Keywords

  • BBR
  • CUBIC
  • Handover
  • High Mobility
  • High-speed Rails
  • LTE
  • Measurement
  • TCP

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