Towards a Low Latency Internet2016-02-25
There is more to Internet connection speed than just bandwidth, for an example how latency affects the speed. In his disputation Mohammad Rajiullah wrote about his research Towards a Low Latency Internet: Understanding and Solutions.
Mohammad Rajiullah who is now a postdoctoral researcher at Karlstad University describes why latency effects your perception of the speed of a network.
- Bandwidth is only about how many bits you can receive or send in a second, but latency tells you how much time you need to complete a task, in other words the responsiveness of a system. You can notice that for an example when you are competing with other users in a multiplayer online game such of any First Person Shooter game type and your player doesn’t move as you expect, he explains.
What is latency?
A so-called low latency network connection is one that generally experiences small delay times, while a high latency connection generally suffers from long delays. You might think that having lots of bandwidth would be enough but that’s not true.
- More bandwidth just means that you can send lots of things quickly, what it doesn’t do is helping you shortening the time it takes for the transmission to get started. What you want is high bandwidth and low latency.
Low latency Internet helps you when you are at teleconferences, the stock market, playing a multiplayer online game or using Skype. For an example if you use Skype and the person on the other end has high latency you will find that you would be out of sync with that person. If he or she has low latency you will be able to talk directly to each other.
Research for improving the internet
Because of all the new applications the need for low latency is getting bigger. Organizations as well as society want and sometimes need things to happen fast. In his research Mohammed Rajiullah presents three parts: The first is his work about really knowing if all or which applications are sensitive to low latency and if the proportion has increased or not. It turned out that in recent years the use of latency sensitive applications has actually increased, acknowledging the importance of reducing latency in the Internet.
The second is the need to getting up to speed fast. A growing proportion of Internet users are limited by the way today’s start-up mechanisms work, not the bandwidth. A better start-up mechanism can increase the number of happy users without investing more in the bandwidth.
The third about improving the ability to recover data that get lost during the transmission showed that the solutions that Mohammad Rajiullah presents in his disputation were more suitable as compared to thecurrent practices to reduce latency.
- I think that the solutions for this problem that we see today will be used in the following years and that we will get a faster Internet. It will enable people to experience and get enriched with the full potential of certain applications that require instant response like playing music together even if the player are on different continents. Applications like teleconferences will be more interactive.
Mohammed Rajiullah now continues his research at Karlstad University. Focus is on how to increase the web performance when you are browsing so that you don’t have to wait and see the mouse on standby.