Analytical Analysis of Hybrid Access Mechanism of IEEE 802.11 DCF

Hongyuan CHEN  Yanda LI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E87-B   No.12   pp.3682-3694
Publication Date: 2004/12/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Wireless Communication Technologies
IEEE 802.11,  performance analysis,  DCF,  wireless LAN (WLAN),  

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The IEEE 802.11 protocol is one of the most important standards for Wireless Local Area Networks. The primary MAC protocol of 802.11 is the distributed coordination function (DCF), which is Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA) with binary slotted exponential backoff scheme. The basic access and the RTS/CTS access mechanisms are the two channel access methods defined in DCF. In real work environments, the common channel access method of 802.11 is the coexistence of the above two mechanisms, i.e., packets longer than a given threshold RTSthreshold are transmitted according to the RTS/CTS mechanism, otherwise, they are transmitted by means of basic mechanism. The common mechanism is called as hybrid access mechanism in this paper. Few analytical models have been proposed to evaluate the hybrid access mechanism up to now. The necessary condition which enables the hybrid mechanism to work is that the packets must be variable. But, almost all analytical models proposed for 802.11 DCF assume that the packet size is fix, so they can not study the hybrid access method. In this paper, we propose a detailed analytical model to evaluate the saturation performance of the hybrid access mechanism, in the assumption that the packet lengthes are sampled from a general distribution function f(x). Both the throughput and the delay performances are concerned. Our model is validated by extensive simulations. By means of the proposed model, we compare the performances of the above three mechanisms, i.e., basic, RTS/CTS and hybrid, under different network scenarios. Numerical results show that the hybrid access mechanism is the best choice in almost all scenarios.