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Design and Deployment of a Reliable File Transfer Protocol over Asymmetric Satellite Networks

Anupam Goyal


Satellite networks are the most widely deployed networks for audio and video transmissions. Though the initial installation cost is more, the benefit of reaching users spread over very large areas makes it a viable and very effective option for sending information in which some loss is tolerable. Some of the main drawbacks of satellite networks are limited bandwidth availability, large delay involved in transmission and their asymmetric nature. This leads to still higher delay in correcting the losses occurred during transmission making them difficult to use for reliable transmission. But when the need for sending data reliably to multiple users spread across a wide region arises, the long reach and inherent multicast nature of satellite networks make them an interesting option. Our work explores the possibility of using asymmetric networks like satellite networks for reliable data transmission to multiple users. An asymmetric network consists of a comparatively large bandwidth unreliable communication channel coupled with a low bandwidth reliable communication channel. We have designed a protocol which can be used to transmit data reliably over above defined asymmetric networks. We have implemented the protocol in developing a file transfer utility for Distance Education Program, IIT Bombay which uses a satellite network of the above kind. The algorithm is general enough to be employed for reliably transferring data over any asymmetric network though the change in network parameters will effect the protocol efficiency.

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