Open Infrastructure
A Wireless Network Research Framework
for Residential Networks
BaPu: A Practical Bunching of Access Point Uplinks

Motivations

Nowadays, the mobile devices are equipped with high-resolution cameras and a variety of sensors and are quickly becoming the primary device to generate personal multimedia content. Both the quality and quantity of User Generated Content grows continuously. This naturally leads to end users' ever increasing demand of sharing these high volume of UGC with others in an instant way. Prominent examples of services allowing multimedia content sharing are YouTube, Dailymotion, and various social networking platforms like Facebook and Google+. In addition, there is also a trend of instantly backing up personal files in the "CloudStorage", such as Dropbox and iCloud. To obtain a satisfactory user experience, users need sufficient uplink bandwidth to do the fast bulk data transfer to the Internet. However, today's ISP's generally offer highly throttled uplink bandwidth around 1 to 3Mbps. As a result, instant sharing of HD content or fast data backup in the "Cloud" is generally infeasible in today's residential broadband. For example, iPhone 5 takes video at 1080p and 30fps, which translates to around 200MB per minute. With 3Mbps uplink, it takes over an hour to upload a 10 minute video clip to iCloud! These limitations are even more critical for users who desire to retain the control over their content and intend to share them directly from their homes. This calls for solutions to scale backhaul uplink.

In this work, we propose a complete software based solution on WiFi Access Point for aggregating multiple broadband uplinks, with the assistance of the WiFi infrastructure in the same neighborhood.

BaPu aims to achieve two major goals: 1) requires no client modification for easy incremental adoption; 2) supports not only UDP, but also TCP traffic to greatly extend its applicability to a broad class of popular applications such as HD streaming or large file transfer. We prototyped BaPu with commodity hardware. Our extensive experiments shows that despite TCP's sensitivity to typical channel factors such as high wireless packet loss, out-of-order packets arrivals due to multipath, heterogeneous backhaul capacity, and dynamic delays, BaPu achieves a backhaul aggregation up to 95% of the theoretical maximum throughput for UDP and 88% for TCP. We also empirically estimate the potential idle bandwidth that can be harnessed from residential broadband.

Technical Report

BaPu: Efficient and Practical Bunching of Access Point Uplinks. Tao Jin, Triet Vo-Huu, Erik-Oliver Blass, Guevara Noubir, Technical Report, Sept. 2012 [pdf]

Source Codes

We have prototyped the complete BaPu system with commodity OpenWRT compatible wireless routers. We are cleaning up the code base to open source our project. Please contact Prof. Guevara Noubir or Tao Jin to request the source codes.

Thanks a lot for your interest in our project!