A performance study of forward error correction in ATM networks

  • Ernst W. Biersack
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 614)


The asynchronous transfer mode technique (ATM) has been standardized as the transport system for future broadband communication networks. ATM allows the multiplexing and transmission of data from different services over the same network. If the cell loss rate in the network is higher than the loss rate requested by the service, the protocols in the endsystems must make up for the difference in loss rate. Traditionally, a retransmissionbased scheme (i.e. ARQ) is used to recover from loss of data. In high bandwidth delay-product networks the latency introduced by retransmission-based error recovery schemes may become unacceptably high. Forward error correction (FEC) schemes do not have this drawback. When FEC is used, the transmitter sends with the original data some redundant data that can be used by the receiver to reconstruct lost pieces of the original data without requesting their retransmission. FEC trades off an increase in the bandwidth required for the capability to recover from partial loss.

We use simulation to study an FEC scheme that can recover a fixed number of lost cells within a block of consecutive cells. The results obtained for different traffic scenarios demonstrate that FEC can reduce the loss rate by multiple orders of magnitude. FEC is shown to be most effective when used by video sources in a heterogeneous traffic scenario consisting of video and burst sources.


Loss Rate Forward Error Correction Interarrival Time Asynchronous Transfer Mode Video Source 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. [ATM 89]
    Comité Consultatif International de Télégraphique et Téléphonique, “Broadband Aspects of ISDN”, Recommendation I.121,1989.Google Scholar
  2. [GARR 91]
    M. W. Garrett and M. Vetterli, “Congestion Control Strategies for Packet Video”, Proc. 4th Int. Workshop on Packet Video, Kyoto, Japan, August 1991.Google Scholar
  3. [MCAU 90]
    A. J. McAuley, “Reliable Broadband Communications Using a Burst Erasure Correcting Code”, Proc. ACM SIGCOMM 90, pp. 287–306, Philadelphia, PA, September 1990.Google Scholar
  4. [MINZ 89]
    S. E. Minzer, “Broadband ISDN and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)”, IEEE Communications, 27(9): 17–24, September 1989.Google Scholar
  5. [OHTA 91]
    H. Ohta and T. Kitami, “A Technique to Detect and Compensate Consecutive Cell Loss in ATM Networks”, Proc. IEEE INFOCOM '91, pp. 781–790, Bal Harbour, FL, April 1991.Google Scholar
  6. [SHAC 90]
    N. Shacham and P. McKenny, “Packet Recovery in High-Speed Networks using Coding”, Proc. INFOCOM 90, pp. 124–131, San Francisco, CA, June 1990.Google Scholar
  7. [ZHAN 91]
    L. Zhang and K. W. Sarkies, “Modelling of a Virtual Path and its Applications for Forward Error Recovery Coding Schemes in ATM Networks”, Proc. SICON '91, Singapore, September 1991.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernst W. Biersack
    • 1
  1. 1.BellcoreMorristown

Personalised recommendations