On the Validity of IEEE 802.11 MAC Modeling Hypotheses

Huang, Kaidi and Duffy, Ken R. and Malone, David (2010) On the Validity of IEEE 802.11 MAC Modeling Hypotheses. Networking, IEEE/ACM Transactions on . ISSN 1063-6692

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We identify common hypotheses on which a large number of distinct mathematical models of WLANs employing IEEE 802.11 are founded. Using data from an experimental test bed and packet-level ns-2 simulations, we investigate the veracity of these hypotheses.We demonstrate that several of these assumptions are inaccurate and/or inappropriate. We consider hypotheses used in the modeling of saturated and unsaturated 802.11 infrastructure mode networks, saturated 802.11e networks, and saturated and unsaturated 802.11s mesh networks. In infrastructure mode networks, we find that even for small numbers of stations, common hypotheses hold true for saturated stations and also for unsaturated stations with small buffers. However, despite their widespread adoption, common assumptions used to incorporate station buffers are erroneous. This raises questions about the predictive power of all models based on these hypotheses. For saturated 802.11e models that treat differences in arbitration interframe space (AIFS), we find that the two fundamental hypotheses are reasonable. For 802.11s mesh networks, we find that assumptions are appropriate only if stations are lightly loaded and are highly inappropriate if they are saturated. In identifying these flawed suppositions, this work identifies areas where mathematical models need to be revisited and revised if they are to be used with confidence by protocol designers and WLAN network planners.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Carrier sensing multiple access/collision avoidance (CSMA/CA); hypothesis testng; IEEE 802.11; stochastic models;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > Hamilton Institute
Item ID: 2159
Depositing User: Dr Ken Duffy
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2010 15:36
Journal or Publication Title: Networking, IEEE/ACM Transactions on
Publisher: IEEE
Refereed: Yes

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