Towards Controlling Latency in Wireless Networks

  • Nader Bouacida

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

Wireless networks are undergoing an unprecedented revolution in the last decade. With the explosion of delay-sensitive applications in the Internet (i.e., online gaming and VoIP), latency becomes a major issue for the development of wireless technology. Taking advantage of the significant decline in memory prices, industrialists equip the network devices with larger buffering capacities to improve the network throughput by limiting packets drops. Over-buffering results in increasing the time that packets spend in the queues and, thus, introducing more latency in networks. This phenomenon is known as “bufferbloat”. While throughput is the dominant performance metric, latency also has a huge impact on user experience not only for real-time applications but also for common applications like web browsing, which is sensitive to latencies in order of hundreds of milliseconds. Concerns have arisen about designing sophisticated queue management schemes to mitigate the effects of such phenomenon. My thesis research aims to solve bufferbloat problem in both traditional half-duplex and cutting-edge full-duplex wireless systems by reducing delay while maximizing wireless links utilization and fairness. Our work shed lights on buffer management algorithms behavior in wireless networks and their ability to reduce latency resulting from excessive queuing delays inside oversized static network buffers without a significant loss in other network metrics. First of all, we address the problem of buffer management in wireless full-duplex networks by using Wireless Queue Management (WQM), which is an active queue management technique for wireless networks. Our solution is based on Relay Full-Duplex MAC (RFD-MAC), an asynchronous media access control protocol designed for relay full-duplexing. Compared to the default case, our solution reduces the end-to-end delay by two orders of magnitude while achieving similar throughput in most of the cases. In the second part of this thesis, we propose a novel design called “LearnQueue” based on reinforcement learning that can effectively control the latency in wireless networks. LearnQueue adapts quickly and intelligently to changes in the wireless environment using a sophisticated reward structure. Testbed results prove that LearnQueue can guarantee low latency while preserving throughput.
Date of AwardApr 24 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering
SupervisorBasem Shihada (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Bufferbloat
  • Full-duplex wireless
  • active queue management
  • queuing latency
  • reinforcement learning

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