Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Computer and Information Science

First Advisor

Insup Lee


Today’s wireless network complexity and the new applications from various user devices call for an in-depth understanding of the mutual performance impact of networks and applications. It includes understanding of the application traffic and network layer protocols to enable end-to-end application performance enhancements over wireless networks. Although Transport Control Protocol (TCP) behavior over wireless networks is well known, it remains as one of the main drivers which may significantly impact the user experience through application performance as well as the network resource utilization, since more than 90% of the internet traffic uses TCP in both wireless and wire-line networks. In this dissertation, we employ application traffic measurement and packet analysis over a commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) network combined with an in-depth LTE protocol simulation to identify three critical problems that may negatively affect the application performance and wireless network resource utilization: (i) impact of the wireless MAC protocol on the TCP throughput performance, (ii) impact of applications on network resource utilization, and (iii) impact of TCP on throughput performance over wireless networks. We further propose four novel mechanisms to improve the end-to-end application and wireless system performance: (i) an enhanced LTE uplink resource allocation mechanism to reduce network delay and help prevent a TCP timeout, (ii) a new TCP snooping mechanism, which according to our experiments, can save about 20% of system resources by preventing unnecessary video packet transmission through the air interface, and (iii) two Split-TCP protocols: an Enhanced Split-TCP (ES-TCP) and an Advanced Split-TCP (AS-TCP), which significantly improve the application throughput without breaking the end-to-end TCP semantics. Experimental results show that the proposed ES-TCP and AS-TCP protocols can boost the TCP throughput by more than 60% in average, when exercised over a 4G LTE network. Furthermore, the TCP throughput performance improvement may be even superior to 200%, depending on network and usage conditions. We expect that these proposed Split-TCP protocol enhancements, together with the new uplink resource allocation enhancement and the new TCP snooping mechanism may provide even greater performance gains when more advanced radio technologies, such as 5G, are deployed. Thanks to their superior resource utilization efficiency, such advanced radio technologies will put to greater use the techniques and protocol enhancements disclosed through this dissertation.

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