Rate Adaptation With Loss Diagnosis on IEEE 802.11 Networks

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Rate adaptation in wireless networking aims to seek the optimal data transmission rate most appropriate for current wireless channel conditions to make full use of the channel potentials. It is important in wireless networks because (1) most of them support multiple data rates, and (2) wireless channel is unstable with fast changes on which a single rate thereby may not be proper for long. Based on a comprehensive survey of the rate adaptation for IEEE 802.1 networks in literature, this work proposes a rate adaptation scheme, dubbed effective rate adaptation (ERA), for IEEE 802.11 networks. ERA takes advantage of the fragmentation technique in IEEE 802.11 standard and utilizes the lowest rate retransmission in diagnosing frame loss cause (collision or channel degradation), diffusing collision, and promptly recovering frame losses. It also adopts an adaptive rate increase threshold concept to exploit channel potentials. Different from other rate adaptation schemes, ERA effectively addresses two challenges in rate adaptation on IEEE 802.11 networks: (1) it does not require RTS/CTS for loss diagnosis purpose; the use of RTS/CTS that are optional in IEEE standard results in inefficiency on channel utilization; (2) it promptly responds to frame failure due to channel degradation, unlike others waiting till the end of a transmission window or cycle. With extensive simulation, ERA shows its unique strength in different lossy environments, especially in collision-prone environments. Copyright (c) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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International Journal of Communication Systems





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