Mobile communication systems have continued to evolve beyond the currently deployed Third Generation (3G) systems with the main goal of providing higher capacity. Systems beyond 3G are expected to cater for a wide variety of services such as speech, data, image transmission, video, as well as multimedia services consisting of a combination of these. With the air interface being the bottleneck in mobile networks, recent enhancing technologies such as the High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), incorporate major changes to the radio access segment of 3G Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS). HSDPA introduces new features such as fast link adaptation mechanisms, fast packet scheduling, and physical layer retransmissions in the base stations, necessitating buffering of data at the air interface which presents a bottleneck to end-to-end communication. Hence, in order to provide end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees to multimedia services in wireless networks such as HSDPA, efficient buffer management schemes are required at the air interface. The main objective of this thesis is to propose and evaluate solutions that will address the QoS optimization of multimedia traffic at the radio link interface of HSDPA systems. In the thesis, a novel queuing system known as the Time-Space Priority (TSP) scheme is proposed for multimedia traffic QoS control. TSP provides customized preferential treatment to the constituent flows in the multimedia traffic to suit their diverse QoS requirements. With TSP queuing, the real-time component of the multimedia traffic, being delay sensitive and loss tolerant, is given transmission priority; while the non-real-time component, being loss sensitive and delay tolerant, enjoys space priority. Hence, based on the TSP queuing paradigm, new buffer managementalgorithms are designed for joint QoS control of the diverse components in a multimedia session of the same HSDPA user. In the thesis, a TSP based buffer management algorithm known as the Enhanced Time Space Priority (E-TSP) is proposed for HSDPA. E-TSP incorporates flow control mechanisms to mitigate congestion in the air interface buffer of a user with multimedia session comprising real-time and non-real-time flows. Thus, E-TSP is designed to provide efficient network and radio resource utilization to improve end-to-end multimedia traffic performance. In order to allow real-time optimization of the QoS control between the real-time and non-real-time flows of the HSDPA multimedia session, another TSP based buffer management algorithm known as the Dynamic Time Space Priority (D-TSP) is proposed. D-TSP incorporates dynamic priority switching between the real-time and non-real-time flows. D-TSP is designed to allow optimum QoS trade-off between the flows whilst still guaranteeing the stringent real-time component’s QoS requirements. The thesis presents results of extensive performance studies undertaken via analytical modelling and dynamic network-level HSDPA simulations demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed TSP queuing system and the TSP based buffer management schemes
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