Gap Processing Time Analysis of Stall Avoidance Schemes for High-Speed Downlink Packet Access with Parallel HARQ Mechanisms

Li Chun Wang, Chih Wen Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The parallel multichannel stop-and-wait (SAW) hybrid automatic repeat request (HARQ) mechanism is one of key technologies for high-speed downlink packet access in the wideband code division multiple access system. However, this parallel HARQ mechanism may encounter a serious stall problem, resulting from the error of the negative acknowledgement (NACK) changing to the acknowledgement (ACK) in the control channel. In the stall situation, the receiver waits for a packet that will be no longer be sent by the transmitter and stops delivering the medium access control (MAC) layer packets to the upper layer. The stall issue seriously degrades the quality of service for the high-speed mobile terminal owing to the high probability of NACK-to-ACK errors. In this paper, we present an analytical approach to compare three stall avoidance schemes: the timer-based, the window-based, and the indicator-based schemes. To this end, we first propose a new performance metric-gap processing time, which is defined as the duration for a nonrecoverable gap appearing in the MAC layer reordering buffer until it is recognized. Second, we derive the probability mass functions and the closed-form expressions for the average gap processing time of these three stall avoidance schemes. It will be shown that our analytical results match the simulations well. Further, by analysis, we demonstrate that the indicator-based stall avoidance scheme outperforms the timer-based and the window-based schemes. The developed analytical approaches can help determine a proper number of processes for the parallel SAW HARQ mechanisms. We also show that the analytical formulas can be used to design the number of acceptable fully loaded users for an admission control policy subject to the gap processing time constraint. In the future, our analysis can facilitate the MAC/radio link control (RLC) cross-layer design because the gap processing time in the MAC layer is closely related to the RLC timeout mechanism and the window size in the RLC retransmission mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1591-1605
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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