Long-term Time-share Guarantees are Necessary for Wireless LANs

Godfrey Tan, John Guttag
SIGOPS European Workshop'04, Leuven, Belgium, September 2004

Wireless local area networks (WLANs) based on a family of 802.11 technologies are becoming ubiquitous. These technologies support multiple data transmission rates. Transmitting at a lower data rate (by using a more resilient modulation scheme) increases the frame transmission time but reduces the bit error rate. In non-cooperative environments such as public hot-spots, individual nodes attempt to maximize their achieved throughput by adjusting the data rate or frame size used, irrespective of the impact of this on overall system performance.

In a series of experiments, we demonstrate that the existing distributed MAC protocol encourages non-cooperative nodes to use globally inefficient transmission strategies that lead to degraded aggregate throughputs. We also show that by establishing independence between the allocation of the shared channel time and the strategies used by individual nodes, an improved MAC protocol can lead rational but non-cooperative nodes to make choices that increase aggregate throughputs by as much as 30% under some conditions.

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Bibtex Entry:

@inproceedings{tan2004long-term,
   author =       "Godfrey Tan and John Guttag",
   title =        "{Long-term Time-share Guarantees are Necessary for Wireless LANs}",
   booktitle =    {SIGOPS European Workshop'04},
   year =         {2004},
   month =        {September},
   address =      {Leuven, Belgium}
}