An effective medium contention method to improve the performance of IEEE 802.11

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Abstract

In this paper, we propose an effective medium access mechanism to enhance performance of the IEEE 802.11 distributed coordination function (DCF). One of the primary issues of 802.11 is a contention-based medium access control (MAC) mechanism over a limited medium, which is shared by many mobile users. In the original 802.11 DCF, the binary exponential backoff algorithm with specific contention window size is employed to coordinate the competition for shared channel. Instead of binary exponential increase, we adopt linear increase for the contention window that is determined according to the competing number of nodes. We also assume that the access point can broadcast the number of mobile nodes to each station through management frames. An analytical model is developed for the throughput performance of the wireless medium. Using simulation results from the NS2 simulator, we show that our model can accurately predict the system saturation throughput, and can obtain better performance in terms of throughput, fairness, and packet drop.

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