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Fairness and its Impact on Delay in 802.11 Networks

Abstract : We analyze in this paper the fairness of the 802.11 DCF (Distributed Coordination Function) access method. Short- term fairness is an important property of a MAC layer for obtaining short delays. We show that contrary to the common wisdom, a 802.11 cell with two hosts does not exhibit short- term unfairness. Many papers considered 802.11 as short-term unfair by referring to a study of the Wavelan CSMA/CA access method [1]. The confusion comes from the extrapolation of its results to 802.11. Actually, these two access methods are very different: the Wavelan CSMA/CA access method performs exponential backoff when the channel is sensed busy, whereas 802.11 does the same only after a collision. We propose a new fairness index: the number of inter- transmissions that other hosts may perform between two trans- missions of a given host. By means of this index we analyze the fairness of 802.11 for the case of two hosts and derive the probability distribution of the number of inter-transmissions. Our results show that even on the short term time scale the 802.11 DCF access method provides fairness to competing hosts. When compared with Slotted ALOHA, a multiple access randomized protocol with good fairness properties, 802.11 presents even better fairness. To validate the model, we compare the analytical results with experimental histograms obtained via simulations and measurements.
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Contributor : Franck Rousseau <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 14, 2015 - 10:39:54 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 11:30:05 AM

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Gilles Berger Sabbatel, Andrzej Duda, Olivier Gaudoin, Martin Heusse, Franck Rousseau. Fairness and its Impact on Delay in 802.11 Networks. Proceedings of the IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference (GLOBECOM'04), 2004, Dallas, United States. pp.2967-2973, ⟨10.1109/GLOCOM.2004.1378897⟩. ⟨hal-01199119⟩



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