A New Block Association Scheme for IEEE 802.11ah

Pranesh STHAPIT  Jae-Young PYUN  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E101-B    No.3    pp.648-656
Publication Date: 2018/03/01
Publicized: 2017/09/19
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.2017NRP0015
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Network Resource Control and Management for IoT Services and Applications)
IEEE 802.11ah,  block association,  channel contention,  optimum group size,  relay,  group head,  

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IEEE 802.11ah is a new wireless standard for large-scale wireless connectivity in IoT and M2M applications. One of the major requirements placed on IEEE 802.11ah is the energy-efficient communication of several thousand stations with a single access point. This is especially difficult to achieve during network initialization, because the several thousand stations must rely on the rudimentary approach of random channel access, and the inevitable increase in channel access contention yields a long association delay. IEEE 802.11ah has introduced an authentication control mechanism that classifies stations into groups, and only a small number of stations in a group are allowed to access the medium at a time. Although the grouping strategy provides fair channel access to a large number of stations, the presence of several thousand stations and limitation that only a group can use the channel at a time, causes the association time to remain excessive. In this paper, we propose a novel block association method that enables simultaneous association of all groups. Our experiments verify that our block association method decreases the total association time by many folds.