Smart Packet Transmission Scheduling Combined with Rate Adaptation for Enhancing Total Throughput against Channel Fading in Wireless LAN

Hideki TODE

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E98-B    No.12    pp.2496-2507
Publication Date: 2015/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E98.B.2496
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Wireless Communication Technologies
rate adaptation,  media access control,  wireless LAN,  

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This paper deals with the inefficient channel utilization of wireless LANs that use rate adaptation. Recently, wireless LANs are being utilized in various environments. However, inefficient channel utilization is still a serious problem. The effective solutions include to decrease the frequency of packet loss and to transmit packets at a higher rate. While the backoff algorithm in IEEE 802.11 avoids only the packet loss caused by collision, other previous works tackle the packet loss caused by channel fading by means of transmission at a lower rate. This approach is called rate adaptation and a simple rate adaptation scheme is widely diffused in commercial 802.11 wireless LAN devices. However, utilizing lower transmission rate degrades transmission efficiency because the channel is occupied for a longer time. In this paper, decreasing transmission rate is avoided with novel transmission scheduling. Specifically, the proposed scheduling interrupts packet transmission to receiver stations under fading channel condition until the condition improves. Instead, other packets to other stations are transmitted in advance. To implement this proposed scheduling, only access points (APs) need to be modified. Hence, legacy wireless stations can benefit from higher communication bandwidth simply by introducing the modified APs. Moreover, although wireless stations must also be modified, an extended RTS/CTS handshake is also proposed to quickly detect the improvement of channel condition and to minimize the wasted time even if fading loss occurs. Here, wireless stations must also be modified to adopt the extended RTS/CTS handshake but further bandwidth increase is achievable. Evaluation results demonstrate that network throughput is improved without degrading the throughput fairness among receiver stations and packet transfer delay of interrupted stations.