In the last few years, several different mesh network architectures have been conceived by both industry and academia; however, many issues on the deployment of efficient and fair transport protocols are still open. One of these issues is rate adaptation, that is, how to allocate the network resources among multiple flows, while minimizing the performance overhead. In order to address this problem, in this paper, we first define an analytical framework for a very simple topology. The model allows us to study the performance of an adaptive and responsive transport protocol when the effect of the lower layers are ignored. The mathematical approach alone does not represent a feasible solution, but it contributes to determining the strengths and weaknesses of our proposal. The main novelty of the proposed solution is that the congestion control approach is based on a hop-by-hop mechanism, which allows nodes to adapt their transmitting rates in a distributed way and to keep track of dynamic multi-hop network characteristics in a responsive manner. This is in contrast with classical literature solutions, founded on an end-to-end support. Anyway, to ensure the reliability, a coarse-grained end-to-end algorithm is integrated with the proposed hop-by-hop congestion control mechanism to provide packet level reliability at the transport layer. Performance evaluation, via extensive simulation experiments, shows that the proposed protocol achieves a high performance in terms of network throughput.
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