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Issue No. 05 - May (2009 vol. 8)
ISSN: 1536-1233
pp: 682-693
Jaehyuk Choi , Seoul National University, Seoul
Kihong Park , Purdue University, West Lafayette
Chong-kwon Kim , Seoul National University, Seoul
Recent works in empirical 802.11 wireless LAN performance evaluation have shown that cross-layer interactions in WLANs can be subtle, sometimes leading to unexpected results. Two such instances are: (i) significant throughput degradation resulting from automatic rate fallback (ARF) having difficulty distinguishing collision from channel noise, and (ii) scalable TCP over DCF performance that is able to mitigate the negative performance effect of ARF by curbing multiple access contention even when the number of stations is large. In this paper, we present a framework for analyzing complex cross-layer interactions in 802.11 WLANs, with the aim of providing effective tools for understanding and improving WLAN performance. We focus on cross-layer interactions between ARF, DCF, and TCP, where ARF adjusts coding at the physical layer, DCF mediates link layer multiple access control, and TCP performs end-to-end transport. We advance station-centric Markov chain models of ARF, ARF-DCF with and without RTS/CTS, and TCP over DCF that may be viewed as multi-protocol extensions of Bianchi's IEEE 802.11 model. We show that despite significant increase in complexity the analysis framework leads to tractable and accurate performance predictions. Our results complement empirical and simulation-based findings, demonstrating the versatility and efficacy of station-centric Markov chain analysis for capturing cross-layer WLAN dynamics.
Wireless LAN, Algorithm/protocol design and analysis, Mobile communication systems, Wireless, Auto Rate Fallback, TCP over WLAN, Cross-layer Interaction

J. Choi, C. Kim and K. Park, "Analysis of Cross-Layer Interaction in Multirate 802.11 WLANs," in IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 8, no. , pp. 682-693, 2008.
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