The Impact of Loss Generation on Emulation-based Protocol Evaluation

J. Garcia, S. Alfredsson, and A. Brunstrom (Sweden)


Emulation, determinism, protocol evaluation, TCP


Network emulation has for a long time been an important tool for evaluating the performance of communication pro tocols. By emulating network characteristics, such as re stricted bandwidth, delay and losses, knowledge about the behavior and performance of actual protocol implementa tions can be obtained. This paper focuses on the gener ation of losses in network emulators and shows the ben eficial effects of being able to control the generation of losses in a precise way. Both the possibility to get addi tional knowledge about a protocol implementations behav ior, as well as statistical benefits such as paired experiments are discussed. By extending the loss generation to also in clude bit-error generation, in addition to packet losses, a finer level of abstraction is provided. Deterministic bit error generation allows detailed and repeatable studies of bit-error sensitive protocol behavior. TCP and a loss differ entiating variant of TCP is used to illustrate the utility of improved loss generation.

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