TCP's protocol radius: The distance where timers prevent communication

Lloyd Wood, Cathryn Peoples, Gerard Parr, Bryan Scotney, Adrian Moore

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

9 Citations (Scopus)


We examine how the design of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) implicitly presumes a limited range of path delays and distances between communicating endpoints. We show that TCP is less suited to larger delays due to the interaction of various timers present in TCP implementations that limit performance and, eventually, the ability to communicate at all as distances increase. The resulting performance and protocol radius metrics that we establish by simulation indicate how the TCP protocol performs with increasing distance radius between two communicating nodes, and show the boundaries where the protocol undergoes visible performance changes. This allows us to assess the suitability of TCP for long-delay communication, including for deep-space links.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2007 International Workshop on Satellite and Space Communication, IWSSC'07
PublisherThe Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4244-0939-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-4244-0938-9
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event2007 International Workshop on Satellite and Space Communication - Salzburg, Austria
Duration: 12 Sep 200714 Sep 2007


Workshop2007 International Workshop on Satellite and Space Communication
Abbreviated titleIWSSC'07

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