From Homogeneous to Heterogeneous: An Analytical Model for IEEE 1901 Power Line Communication Networks in Unsaturated Conditions

Sheng HAO  Huyin ZHANG  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E102-B   No.8   pp.1636-1648
Publication Date: 2019/08/01
Publicized: 2019/02/20
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.2018EBP3302
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Network
IEEE 1901,  power line communication networks,  analytical model,  unsaturated conditions,  Markov process,  queueing theory,  heterogeneous traffic,  

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Power line communication (PLC) networks play an important role in home networks and in next generation hybrid networks, which provide higher data rates (Gbps) and easier connectivity. The standard medium access control (MAC) protocol of PLC networks, IEEE 1901, uses a special carrier sense multiple access with collision avoidance (CSMA/CA) mechanism, in which the deferral counter technology is introduced to avoid unnecessary collisions. Although PLC networks have achieved great commercial success, MAC layer analysis for IEEE 1901 PLC networks received limited attention. Until now, a few studies used renewal theory and strong law of large number (SLLN) to analyze the MAC performance of IEEE 1901 protocol. These studies focus on saturated conditions and neglect the impacts of buffer size and traffic rate. Additionally, they are valid only for homogeneous traffic. Motivated by these limitations, we develop a unified and scalable analytical model for IEEE 1901 protocol in unsaturated conditions, which comprehensively considers the impacts of traffic rate, buffer size, and traffic types (homogeneous or heterogeneous traffic). In the modeling process, a multi-layer discrete Markov chain model is constructed to depict the basic working principle of IEEE 1901 protocol. The queueing process of the station buffer is captured by using Queueing theory. Furthermore, we present a detailed analysis for IEEE 1901 protocol under heterogeneous traffic conditions. Finally, we conduct extensive simulations to verify the analytical model and evaluate the MAC performance of IEEE 1901 protocol in PLC networks.