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Performance anomaly of 802.11b

Abstract : The performance of the IEEE 802.11b wireless local area networks is analyzed. We have observed that when some mobile hosts use a lower bit rate than the others, the performance of all hosts is considerably degraded. Such a situation is a common case in wireless local area networks in which a host far away from an access point is subject to important signal fading and interference. To cope with this problem, the host changes its modulation type, which degrades its bit rate to some lower value. Typically, 802.11b products degrade the bit rate from 11 Mb/s to 5.5, 2, or 1 Mb/s when repeated unsuccessful frame transmissions are detected. In such a case, a host transmitting for example at 1 Mb/s reduces the throughput of all other hosts transmitting at 11 Mb/s to a low value below 1 Mb/s. The basic CSMA/CA channel access method is at the root of this anomaly: it guarantees an equal long term channel access probability to all hosts. When one host captures the channel for a long time because its bit rate is low, it penalizes other hosts that use the higher rate. We analyze the anomaly theoretically by deriving simple expressions for the useful throughput, validate them by means of simulation, and compare with several performance measurements.
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Contributor : Franck Rousseau <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 14, 2015 - 10:39:55 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 10:14:02 AM





Martin Heusse, Franck Rousseau, Gilles Berger Sabbatel, Andrzej Duda. Performance anomaly of 802.11b. Proceedings of the Twenty-Second Annual Joint Conference of the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies (INFOCOM 2003), 2003, San Francisco, United States. pp.836-843, ⟨10.1109/INFCOM.2003.1208921⟩. ⟨hal-01199120⟩



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