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Idle Sense: An Optimal Access Method for High Throughput and Fairness in Rate Diverse Wireless LANs

Abstract : We consider wireless LANs such as IEEE 802.11 operating in the unlicensed radio spectrum. While their nominal bit rates have increased considerably, the MAC layer remains practically unchanged despite much research effort spent on improving its performance. We observe that most proposals for tuning the access method focus on a single aspect and disregard others. Our objective is to define an access method optimized for throughput and fairness, able to dynamically adapt to physical channel conditions, to operate near optimum for a wide range of error rates, and to provide equal time shares when hosts use different bit rates. We propose a novel access method derived from 802.11 DCF [2] (Distributed Coordination Function) in which all hosts use similar values of the contention window CW to benefit from good short-term access fairness. We call our method Idle Sense, because each host observes the mean number of idle slots between transmission attempts to dynamically control its contention window. Unlike other proposals, Idle Sense enables each host to estimate its frame error rate, which can be used for switching to the right bit rate. We present simulations showing how the method leads to high throughput, low collision overhead, and low delay. The method also features fast reactivity and time-fair channel allocation.
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Contributor : Franck Rousseau <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 14, 2015 - 10:39:45 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 6, 2020 - 3:51:16 AM





Martin Heusse, Franck Rousseau, Romaric Guillier, Andrzej Duda. Idle Sense: An Optimal Access Method for High Throughput and Fairness in Rate Diverse Wireless LANs. Proceedings of SIGCOMM'05, 2005, Philadelphia, United States. pp.121-132, ⟨10.1145/1090191.1080107⟩. ⟨hal-01199111⟩



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