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PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF MAC

PROTOCOLS FOR THE WIRELESS LAN AND


HYBRID NETWORKS

A Thesis Submitted to
IIIT-Bangalore

by

Srinivas Pasupuleti

In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree
Master of Technology

International Institute Of Information Technology


Bangalore, India
June 2005
CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that the thesis titled “PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF


MAC PROTOCOLS FOR THE WIRELESS LAN AND HYBRID NET-
WORKS” being submitted by Mr. Srinivas Pasupuleti to the International Institute
of Information Technology, Bangalore, for the award of the Degree of Master of Tech-
nology, is a record of bonafide researh work carried out by him under my supervison,
and Mr. Srinivas fulfills the requirements of the regulations of the degree. The con-
tents of this thesis have not been submitted to any other university or institute for
the award of any degree or diploma.

Approved by:

Dr. Debabrata Das


Professor, IIIT-Bangalore, India

Date Approved
DEDICATION

To my Mother,

Kasi Visalakshi

iii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I extend my heartfelt thanks to my supervisor Prof. Debabrata Das for his guidance

and constant help. He gave me a free academic environment to think and experiment.

His confidence in me and forbearance with my short comings leaves me indebted. He

not only gave me technical but also moral support in the times of distress. The

discussion sessions with him has maneuver the research work and this thesis to its

present form. He has been a constant source of inspiration for me during my research

work. His pursuit for knowledge and dynamism has left a lasting impression in my

mind.

I am grateful to Prof. Sadagopan, director of IIIT-B, who has generously supported

this research endeavor by providing me the encouragement and been a driving force

behind my work. I deeply thank him for allowing me to present my research paper

at ICCC-2004 in Beijing. I am indebted to him all my life for his permission to send

me to University of Trento, Italy for research internship which is a big break in my

career.

I thank all my friends especially Pavan, Penchal, Madhu, Maitreyi, Kiranmai and

Sunitha who are always there to listen to me, encourage me. They helped me to stay

focussed and have been unending sources of motivation. They made me believe that

I can do something that no one else has done. I also express my sincere thanks to

all my IIIT-B classmates who have constantly encouraged me to pursue a career in

research. They actively supported me throughout my work. All my friends’ silent

prayers have smoothened out many rough patches in this exacting period.

To my loving parents, I extend my profound regards for the principles they have

iv
instilled in me and for the opportunities they have offered me. They have endured it

with infinite patience and good grace. Their strong belief and confidence in me has

always given me the strength to reach the pinnacles of success.

Above all, my deep gratitude to GOD who has always taken care of me and blessed

me with wisdom and virtue to follow the right path and take correct decisions. His

blessings be endowed upon me throughout my life and help me to serve the mankind

in the best possible way.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”

Srinivas Pasupuleti

Date: June 28, 2005

v
TABLE OF CONTENTS

DEDICATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iv

LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix

LIST OF FIGURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . x

PUBLICATIONS FROM THIS WORK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xii

SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii

I INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

1.1 IEEE 802.11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

1.1.1 802.11 Physical Layer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

1.1.2 802.11 MAC Sub layer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

1.2 Review on Multiple-Access Wireless networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

1.3 Present Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

1.3.1 Enhancement of IEEE 802.11 MAC Protocol . . . . . . . . . 11

1.3.2 Performance Evaluation of Hybrid Network Topology . . . . 11

1.4 Thesis Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

II THROUGHPUT ANALYSIS OF NEW-DCF MAC PROTOCOL


FOR IEEE 802.11 WLAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

2.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

2.2 Standard-DCF MAC Protocol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

2.3 Issues in MAC and Related Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

vi
2.4 New-DCF MAC Protocol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

2.5 Analysis and Simulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

2.5.1 Throughput Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

2.5.2 Simulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

2.6 Results and Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

2.7 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

III DELAY ANALYSIS OF NEW-DCF MAC PROTOCOL FOR IEEE


802.11 WLAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

3.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

3.1.1 Delay Characteristics in Standard-DCF . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

3.1.2 Delay Characteristics in New-DCF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

3.2 Analysis and Simulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

3.3 Results and Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

3.4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

IV THROUGHPUT EVALUATION OF HYBRID NETWORK WITH


WLANS INTERCONNECTED BY OPTICAL BACKBONE . . 42

4.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

4.1.1 Network Topology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

4.2 Throughput Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

4.3 Simulation Results and Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

4.4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

V DELAY EVALUATION OF HYBRID NETWORK WITH WLANS


INTERCONNECTED BY OPTICAL BACKBONE . . . . . . . . 58

vii
5.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

5.2 Simulation Model for Delay Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

5.3 Simulation Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

5.4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

VI CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

viii
LIST OF TABLES

1 FHSS System Parameters and Additional Parameters used for Simu-


lation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

ix
LIST OF FIGURES

1 Adhoc Network/IBSS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

2 An ESS with 3 BSSs. In practice all boundaries are random . . . . . 5

3 Hidden Node Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

4 Interference and Weak Signal Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

5 Interframe Spacing in 802.11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

6 Backoff Procedure in 802.11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

7 A network with 4 nodes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

8 Fairness to avoid the case of Starvation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

9 Collision Resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

10 The Markov Chain Model of the Proposed Scheme . . . . . . . . . . . 27

11 Offered Load (G) versus Throughput of New-DCF and Standard-DCF


for network with 20 nodes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

12 New-DCF Throughput (S) Versus Offered Load (G) for different num-
ber of nodes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

13 Saturation Throughput Versus Number of nodes for New-DCF and


Standard-DCF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

14 Offered Load (G) versus Throughput of New-DCF and Standard-DCF


for 10 nodes network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

15 Average Delay Versus Number of nodes for New-DCF and Standard-DCF 40

16 Average Delay Versus Number of nodes for New-DCF and Standard-DCF 40

17 Network Topology having Wireless LANs interconnected by optical


backbone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

x
18 WLAN Throughput versus locally originated WLAN Load (G0 ) for
M =10, N =10 and D=10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

19 Backbone Throughput (SB (n)) versus locally originated WLAN Load


(G0 ) with WDM using D=10 channels for N =10 access points . . . . 54

20 Backbone saturation throughput versus Number of WLANs with Num-


ber of Channels D=10, and M =10 Users . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

21 End-to-End Success Probability (PN W ) versus Locally Originated WLAN


Load (G0 ) with N =10, D=10, M =10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

22 Backbone Success Probability versus Number of Access Points for (G0 )=1
with M =10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

23 Average Delay in Backbone vs. No. of Access points for G0 =1 . . . . 64

24 Delay in WLAN vs. Locally Originated WLAN load G0 with Pout =0.5 65

25 Delay in backbone vs. Locally Originated WLAN load G0 with Pout =0.5 66

xi
PUBLICATIONS FROM THIS WORK

1. P. Srinivas and D. Das, “Performance Evaluation of a New-DCF Mechanism for

IEEE 802.11”, International Conference on Computer Communications (ICCC2004),

Sep. 15-17, Beijing, China 2004.

2. P. Srinivas and D. Das, “Throughput and Delay Evaluation of a Proposed-DCF

MAC Protocol for WLAN”, All India IEEE Conference -INDICON, Dec.20-22,

IIT Kharagpur, India 2004.

3. P. Srinivas, S. Shreevathsa, D. Das, “End-to-end Performance Analysis and Sim-

ulation of Wireless LANs Interconnected by WDM Optical Backbone”, IEEE

International Conference On Personal Wireless Communications (ICPWC-2005),

Jan. 23-25, New Delhi, India 2005.

xii
SUMMARY

The desire to provide universal connectivity for mobile computers and commu-

nication devices is fueling a growing interest in wireless packet networks. To satisfy

the needs of wireless data networking, study group 802.11 was formed under IEEE

project 802 to recommend an international standard for Wireless Local Area Net-

works (WLANs). A key part of the standard are the Medium Access Control(MAC)

protocols needed to support asynchronous and time bounded delivery of data frames.

It has been proposed that un-slotted Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision

Avoidance (CSMA/CA) be the basis for the IEEE 802.11 WLAN MAC protocols

and is also referred as Standard Distributed Coordination Function (Standard-DCF).

Performance Evaluation of Standard-DCF is conducted along with the evaluation of

fairness properties. Number of issues have been brought out with regard to the per-

formance and fairness of Standard-DCF. A New-DCF Mechanism has been proposed

and a detailed comparison is done with respect to Standard-DCF. The collisions in

the network are reduced and remain constant at high loads in New-DCF, as the nodes

are not allowed to do random back off more often and instead wait for a constant

time. The throughput is high and stable in comparison to Standard-DCF and is

independent of the system parameters. Also, the delay in New-DCF is less than

Standard-DCF by a factor of 10 at offered loads > 0.8.

A hybrid network with WLANs interconnected by optical backbone is the future solu-

tion for big organizations and large institutions which need to support high backbone

traffic along with providing flexibility and mobility to the users. Hence, it is of inter-

est to evaluate the throughput and delay characteristics of hybrid network formed by

interconnection of 802.11 WLANs either by single wavelength or Wavelength Division

xiii
Multiplexing (WDM) optical backbone. Slotted-ALOHA and ALOHA are employed

as MAC protocols for control and data channels in the WDM optical backbone, while

WLAN uses New-DCF as media access protocol and frequency hopping spread spec-

trum (FHSS) as physical layer. Slotted-ALOHA is the MAC protocol used by single

wavelength optical backbone. A unique iterative analysis has been done to com-

pute the system throughput as well as end-to-end success probability for the hybrid

network topology considered.

xiv
CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

Networks are collection of systems connected to help their users work together. A
network enables users to share files and resources, such as printers, as well as send
messages electronically (e-mail) to each other. Besides these, Internet access, appli-
cations with remote servers, video on demand and interactive multimedia are a few
examples of communication services provided to the users. The three main types of
wired transmission medium used in computer networks are twisted pair, coaxial cable
and optical fiber. Optical fiber can support very high bandwidth among the listed
and is fast replacing copper cables as the medium of transmission of electronic infor-
mation, particularly in high traffic applications. Wired networks irrespective of the
transmission media used, can provide connectivity and performance but not mobility
together with connectivity. Wireless communications is the solution to the require-
ments of mobility with connectivity. Furthermore, Wireless communication with an
optical backbone will not only provide mobility with connectivity but also caters the
needs of high data traffic applications.

The rapid technological advances and innovations of the past few decades have pushed
wireless communication from concept to reality. Advances in chip design have dra-
matically reduced the size and energy requirements of wireless devices, increasing
their portability and convenience. This, combined with the freedom of movement,
are among the driving forces behind the vast popularity of wireless communication.
Wireless technology now reaches or is capable of reaching virtually every location on
the face of the earth. Hundreds of millions of people exchange information every day
using pagers, cellular telephones, and other wireless communication products. With
tremendous success of wireless telephony and messaging services, it is hardly surpris-
ing that wireless communication is beginning to be applied to the realm of personal

1
and business computing. No longer bound by the harnesses of wired networks, people
will be able to access and share information on a global scale nearly anywhere they
venture.

A number of wireless technologies have been developed to serve different applications


ranging from voice, messaging to data transfer. For each of the applications various
standards have been defined. Cell phones, pagers etc provide voice and messaging
services. The set of standards defined for these devices are Global System for Mobile
Communications (GSM), Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), and Code Divi-
sion Multiple Access (CDMA). General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a mobile
data service available to users of GSM mobile phones and is often described as 2.5G
with a maximum bit rate of 170 kbps and Universal Mobile Telecommunications Sys-
tem (UMTS) is one of the third-generation (3G) mobile phone technologies with a
maximum data transfer rate of 1920 kbps.

The technologies described above mainly focus on voice terminals and though 2.5G
and 3G technologies provide data services, low data rates, high cost and high con-
sumption of devices’ battery power make them inefficient for data networking. To
enable wireless access for data terminals like PCs or notebooks with high data rates,
IEEE defined Wireless Local Area Network WLAN - standard 802.11 which initially
supported data rates upto 2Mbps. It later had several extensions but among them
802.11a and 802.11b being the most popular. 802.11b has spread quickly and has
already been widely deployed in company networks which promises data rates of 11
Mbps with low deployment cost. Many network users, especially mobile users in busi-
nesses, the medical profession, factories, and universities, to name a few, find benefit
from the added capabilities of Wireless LANs defined by IEEE 802.11 standard [1].
Untethered from conventional network connections, network users can move about
almost without restriction and access LANs from nearly anywhere. Examples of the
practical uses for wireless network access are limited only by the imagination of the
application designer. Medical professionals can obtain not only patient records, but
real-time vital signs and other reference data at the patient bedside without relying

2
on realms of paper charts and physical paper handling. Factory floor workers can ac-
cess part and process specifications without impractical or impossible wired network
connections. Wireless connections with real-time sensing allows a remote engineer to
diagnose and maintain the health and welfare of manufacturing equipment, even on
an environmentally-hostile factory floor. In the section 1.1 we give a detailed descrip-
tion the IEEE 802.11 WLAN standard with sections 1.1.1, 1.1.2 explaining in detail
the physical and MAC sub layer specifications respectively. The work on the MAC
protocol of WLAN is presented in chapters 2 and 3.

With due course of developments in the area of networking, several types of coaxial
LANs have evolved around the world. Due to the rapid development in the standards
of WLAN and also easy deployment with low cost, WLANs are replacing LANs and
thus will stay as the connection provider to end users. To cater the needs of huge data
traffic in large organizations, several WLANs i.e. access points (APs) will eventually
linked up by high-speed network, such as, WDM optical backbone, leading to an
extended-WLAN. This will lead towards the development of hybrid fiber wireless
network, which will offer a graceful upgrading of the existing WLANs as well as
access networks. A review of MAC protocols and performance issues of WLAN and
optical backbone presented in section 1.2. A overview of the thesis is given in section
1.4. The work on the hybrid topology has been presented in chapters 4 and 5.

1.1 IEEE 802.11

IEEE 802.11 is an industry standard for a shared, wireless local area network (WLAN)
that defines the physical layer and media access control (MAC) sub layer for wireless
communications. The aim of the standard is to provide inter operable WLAN prod-
ucts for globally available ISM bands. In the commercial markets, it was dubbed as
Wi-Fi, perhaps to match the Hi-Fi tone, implying the high fidelity of the protocol for
unreliable wireless channel. It has many extensions depending on the spectra and the
bit rates used. IEEE 802.11 supports three basic topologies for WLANs: the Indepen-
dent Basic Service Set (IBSS), the Basic Service Set (BSS), and the Extended Service

3
Figure 1: Adhoc Network/IBSS

Set (ESS). All three configurations are supported by the MAC layer implementation.

The 802.11 standard defines two modes: ad hoc/IBSS and infrastructure mode. Log-
ically, an ad-hoc configuration shown in Fig. 1 is analogous to a peer-to-peer office
network in which no single node is required to function as a server. IBSS WLANs
include a number of nodes or wireless stations that communicate directly with one
another on an ad-hoc, peer-to-peer basis, building a full-mesh or partial-mesh topol-
ogy. Generally, ad-hoc implementations cover a limited area and are not connected
to any larger network.

Using infrastructure mode, the wireless network consists of at least one access point
connected to the wired network infrastructure and a set of wireless end stations.
This configuration is called a Basic Service Set (BSS). Since most corporate WLANs
require access to the wired LAN for services (file servers, printers, Internet links), they
will operate in infrastructure mode and rely on AP that acts as the logical server for
a single WLAN cell or channel. Communications between two nodes, lets say X and
Y, actually flows from node X to the AP and then from the AP to node Y. The
AP is necessary to perform a bridging function and connect multiple WLAN cells or
channels, and to connect WLAN cells to a wired enterprise LAN.

An Extended Service Set (ESS) shown in Fig.2 is a set of two or more BSSs forming a
single subnetwork. ESS configurations consist of multiple BSS cells that can be linked
by either wired or wireless backbones. IEEE 802.11 supports ESS configurations
in which multiple cells use the same channel, and use different channels to boost
aggregate throughput. In the next subsections we will be discussing about 802.11

4
BSS

AP: Access Point


AP

AP Wired Network
AP

BSS
BSS

Figure 2: An ESS with 3 BSSs. In practice all boundaries are random

physical and MAC sub layer specifications.

1.1.1 802.11 Physical Layer

At the physical layer, IEEE 802.11 defines both direct sequence spread spectrum
(DSSS) and frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) transmissions. The original
bit rate for IEEE 802.11 was 2 megabits per second (Mbps) using the 2.45 gigahertz
(GHz) Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) frequency band. The maximum bit
rate for IEEE 802.11b is 11 Mbps (using DSSS). The maximum bit rate for IEEE
802.11a is 54 Mbps using orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) and
the 5.8 gigahertz (GHz) frequency band. IEEE 802.11b standard is most widely used
and popular standard for WLANs. In the present thesis, the research work is carried
on this particular standard with FHSS physical layer.

1.1.2 802.11 MAC Sub layer

The medium access control (MAC) sub layer defines a local area network. We differen-
tiate among various LANs based on their MAC procedures. The two main functions
to be provided by any MAC sub layer are the channel access and multiple access.

5
A
C
B

Figure 3: Hidden Node Problem

In WLANs, the wireless channel adds its own conditions. Provisioning of multime-
dia requires even more functions. While developing the IEEE 802.11 standard [1],
many service related facts were known to the developers, such as new developments
in the Internet protocol suite, user demands, spectrum availability, new modulation
and coding schemes and user attitude towards wireless technology. All this added to
the existing technical experience from IEEE 802.3 had resulted in a wireless-friendly,
multimedia-capable medium access control protocol layer. IEEE 802.11 protocol set
is also called CSMA/CA as a reminder that the main channel access procedure used
is carrier sense multiple access with collision avoidance (CSMA/CA). Yet another
term used to represent the IEEE 802.11 MAC is the distributed coordination func-
tion (DCF), which in fact forms the base of the MAC access procedures. Distributed
implies that the procedure is to be implemented in all participating nodes, while co-
ordination function implies that it is a channel access and multiple access procedure
based on cooperation from all nodes. The terms nodes, stations and users are used
interchangeably throughout the thesis work.

A wired shared medium protocol like Ethernet uses CSMA/CD: Carrier Sense Multi-
Access with Collision Detection, the wireless protocol uses CSMA/CA: Carrier Sense
Multi-Access with Collision Avoidance. The only difference is how they deal with
collisions, with Ethernet, collisions are easy to detect but with wireless, detecting
collisions is difficult due to the following reasons:

1. Hidden station Problem : In Fig. 3, A and C cannot hear from each other.

6
A sends data frame to B. C doesn’t detect that and senses medium free, so C
might also start sending to B which results in both messages being lost due to
collision of messages at B. Thus A is “hidden” from C.

2. There are weak signals, echoes, and interference because of which detecting a
colliding signal is hard, as shown in Figs. 4(a), (b)

3. In order to detect a collision it is necessary to be “receiving” at the same time


as transmitting, (this is called full duplex, send and receive at the same time),
this is expensive, very few wireless cards can do it, nearly all are half-duplex

Consequently wireless has a protocol that tries to avoid collisions. Carrier sense
multiple access with collision avoidance is used in the form of distributed coordination
function (DCF). Two mechanisms are provided for sensing the carrier, a physical
mechanism and a virtual mechanism. Collision avoidance is implemented through
Inter Frame Spacing (IFS).

The first step is to allocate different amounts of IFS times for different types of pack-
ets. Fig. 5 shows different IFS used by 802.11. The standard specifies four priority
levels with respect to the IFS times. These are represented by Short IFS, Distributed
Coordination Function IFS (DIFS), Point Coordination Function IFS (PIFS) and
extended IFS (EIFS). The SIFS is for the highest priority (short) packets. Request
to Send (RTS), Clear to Send (CTS) and acknowledgement (ACK) are examples of
such packets. DIFS is the “normal” IFS. To initiate a transmission of data or RTS
packet, a station must find the channel idle for an amount given by DIFS. PIFS is
for real-time applications, and has a value between SIFS and DIFS. The EIFS is to
relieve network from congestion and is used on occurrence of errors. Fig. 5 shows a
relation between various IFSs. Actual values of the IFS is physical layer specific. The
physical layers have a parameter called the slot time which is defined as the minimum
time that a node needs to sense whether the channel is busy or not. The PIFS is one
slot time bigger than the SIFS, while DIFS is one slot time bigger than the PIFS.

7
Figure 4: Interference and Weak Signal Problem

Figure 5: Interframe Spacing in 802.11

1.2 Review on Multiple-Access Wireless networks

Major Investigations presented in this thesis are addressed to the performance issues
of MAC protocol in IEEE 802.11 WLANs. We therefore present in this section a
brief literature survey of this topic. The CSMA/CA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access
Collision Avoidance) algorithm has been employed by the Standard-DCF of IEEE
802.11. In order to avoid the collisions, a random backoff mechanism has been used.
It is based on a random slot selection from the Contention Window (CW ) in which
all stations participating in transmission are involved. The stations start to transmit
their frames in random moments, to decrease the probability of collision. The detailed
description of the binary exponential backoff mechanism (BEB) will be presented in
the next chapter.

The backoff mechanism has intensively been studied in the literature since the be-
ginning of 70’s. The idea of using the backoff mechanism in the MAC layer of the
IEEE 802.11 standard has brought a new interest in such a mechanism. The proper

8
selection of backoff parameters is an essential issue for the network performance. For
example, the problem of unequal slot selection was considered in [13]. Two modified
backoff schemes, namely weighted selection probabilities and load adaptive selection
were proposed. These schemes can gain up to 20% in throughput and decrease the
average access delay by 15%.

Several works have investigated via simulation of the IEEE 802.11 protocol [2, 3, 4, 5].
In [6],the theoretical throughput limit of wireless LANs according to a p-persistent
mechanism was analyzed. However, the work in [6] does not consider the effect of the
contention window(CW ) and the binary exponential backoff scheme used by IEEE
802.11. In [7], Markov chain was used to analyze the saturated throughput of IEEE
802.11. In [2] via a performance analysis, the tuning of the standard parameters is
studied and also throughput and fairness properties of the asynchronous data transfer
methods of the IEEE 802.11 protocol are analyzed. In [5], given the Binary Expo-
nential Backoff scheme adopted by the standard, solutions have been proposed for a
better uniform distribution of accesses. Without adding much to the protocol com-
plexity they showed a gain up to 25% in throughput and decrease the average access
delay at about 20% by applying a modified backoff scheme.

Trying to extend backoff protocols, a great amount of work has been done to study
the information that can be obtained by observing the systems parameters [8, 9, 10].
Some studies try to approximate the knowledge about the number of users involved
in the accesses by exploiting the history of the system. Example of such works (for
the IEEE 802.11 DCF MAC protocol) relates to the attempt to make the reduction of
contention adaptive and optimal by investigating the number of users in the system
[4, 11].

There have been several investigations on the performance issues of single-hop Wave-
length Division Multiplexing (WDM) optical LANs which is shown to be efficient
for communication in optical fiber [12]. This is of interest to us as the later part
of the thesis deals with the performance issue of WLANs interconnected by single
wavelength/WDM optical backbone. The huge bandwidth of the optical fiber can

9
be divided into many logical channels using WDM. The simplest requirement for
single-hop communication is that each node is equipped with a single tunable trans-
mitter and a single tunable receiver, and that the system employs a control chan-
nel. A number of protocols and their performance capabilities were first shown in
[13]. The authors employed different combinations of MAC protocols for transmis-
sion of control/data packets, such as ALOHA/ALOHA, slotted-ALOHA/ALOHA,
ALOHA/CSMA, CSMA/ALOHA, and CSMA/N-server switch. Since the normalized
channel propagation delay in a high-speed environment would exceed unity, realis-
tic protocols that do not require any carrier sensing was the focus in [14, 15] with
assumption that a data packet will be transmitted only if the control packet is suc-
cessful. In [16], for getting high performance, control minislot group that gives many
opportunities to each user in sending a control packet to acquire a data channel was
adopted.

From the brief review presented above it becomes evident the performance analysis
(throughput, delay etc.) and related problems of IEEE 802.11 MAC protocol are cur-
rently under rigorous investigation. Although these topics have received considerable
attention in the last few years, still many important aspects need further studies. The
present work explores the relevant issues of Standard-DCF MAC protocol for WLAN
and proposes a New-DCF which promises to solve most of the problems involved
in the CSMA/CA algorithm employed by Standard-DCF. Also, in the past decade,
several works have been done in MAC protocol issues of WDM based optical LANs.
In [12], authors have done performance analysis of MAC protocols in hybrid fiber-
coaxial network formed by coaxial LANs linked up by high-speed interconnection
such as, WDM optical backbone. As conventional wired LANs are being replaced
by WLANs which provide mobility along with performance, the present work also
deals with the performance analysis of hybrid network with WLANs interconnected
by high-speed backbone.

10
1.3 Present Work
1.3.1 Enhancement of IEEE 802.11 MAC Protocol

Though the Standard-DCF MAC Protocol and its various enhancements proposed so
far, as explained in previous section solves many of the problems, there are still lot of
issues that are not resolved. The performance of Standard-DCF is dependent on the
number of nodes in the network, i.e. the performance degrades as the number of nodes
in the network increases which is due to increased number of collisions. And, the col-
lision resolution mechanism has a number of parameters like the Contention Window
sizes (CWmin and CWmax ) which are hardwired in the network cards. And these
values are not suited for different network sizes and loads. In this thesis a New-DCF
MAC protocol is proposed [17, 18] whose performance is independent of the network
size and also the contention window sizes. It achieves high and stable throughput
compared to Standard-DCF at high load and also the saturation throughput is equal
to the maximum throughput calculated theoretically. Thus, by simulation results it
is shown that New-DCF MAC protocol outperforms Standard-DCF in all aspects.
Moreover, it’s also been observed that New-DCF provides more fairness to the users
when compared to the Standard-DCF.

1.3.2 Performance Evaluation of Hybrid Network Topology

Wireless networks depend on having a rigid, stable, well-designed wired network


in place and the majority of wireless LANs requires more than one access point to
supply adequate radio frequency (RF) signal coverage throughout a facility. To enable
roaming between multiple access points and connections to wired network resources,
the 802.11 standard specifies a distribution system. The distribution system, which
often includes wiring, is generally necessary to tie together the access points, access
controllers, and servers. The 802.11 standard says that the distribution system may
be of any technology, such as Ethernet, token ring, or any other network type. The
majority of actual installations, however, utilize Ethernet.

11
To connect different physical locations in one building, you can use a regular copper
Ethernet cable. To connect two buildings together or reaching an access point located
beyond 100m from a communications closet, fiber-optic cable is preferable for high
bandwidth support and it’s becoming more economical. Thus, it will be the future
solution for handling high traffic in big organizations spread over large campuses.
There by, the users will be provided not only with mobility but also high-speed.
Keeping this future trend in mind, the second half of the thesis presents performance
analysis of a hybrid network with Wireless LANs [19], i.e. APs interconnected by
optical backbone. According to [12], optical backbone with wave length division
multiplexing (WDM)gives much better performance than with single wavelength.
And, slotted-ALOHA/ALOHA is preferred over CSMA as media access protocols
for control, data channels in WDM optical backbone. In WLANs interconnected by
optical backbone, the New-DCF MAC protocol is employed as it’s been shown that
it’s performance is much better compared to Standard-DCF. And, it has a significant
impact on the system throughput and end-to-end success probability in the hybrid
topology considered because it gives very stable throughput at high loads.

1.4 Thesis Overview

The thesis is organized as follows:

Chapter II discusses the basic IEEE 802.11 MAC Protocol i.e. Standard-DCF in
detail. The issues and the related work done to improve the performance of the
Standard-DCF has been explained. A New-DCF MAC Protocol is proposed with
analysis carried out using discrete Markov chain model. It is then shown by simulation
results that it’s performance is better then Standard- DCF with respect to throughput
and saturation throughput.

The delay analysis and comparison of delay performance between Standard-DCF


and New-DCF is given in chapter III. The delay characteristics of both Standard-
DCF and New-DCF have been studied extensively. The simulation results show that

12
average delay is much less with New-DCF MAC protocol compared to Standard-DCF
especially at high offered load.

Chapter IV deals about the integration of WDM Optical backbone and WLAN, thus
forming a hybrid network. The performance of the network is analyzed using an
unique iterative method to calculate the end-to-end success probability of packet in
the hybrid network topology. At the end, simulation results showing the throughput
performance of WLAN and Optical backbone are presented and thus some of the
design issues like number of access points that can give optimized results in the
particular configuration and parameters considered are addressed. Also, the end-to-
end success probability of a packet in the network topology considered is presented.

The delay in Optical backbone and WLAN in the hybrid topology is presented in
chapter V. The optical backbone employs either single wavelength or multi wavelength
(WDM) transmission. The Performance of four different network configurations is
studied, which are based on the type of transmission and bit rate of backbone. The
results help us decide on the number of access points that can be connected across
optical backbone such that the delay is with in the acceptable limits. Also, the average
delay in individual WLAN and Optical backbone is given by simulation for all the
four network configurations.

Finally the work is concluded in Chapter VI with a few more issues being raised
which will be dealt in the future. Thus, we propose a New-DCF MAC protocol with
extensive analytical and simulation studies and then we carry on with performance
analysis of a hybrid topology with 802.11 WLANs interconnected by Optical WDM
backbone.

13
CHAPTER II

THROUGHPUT ANALYSIS OF NEW-DCF


MAC PROTOCOL FOR IEEE 802.11 WLAN

2.1 Introduction

The wireless local area network (WLAN) has become a popular mode of communi-
cation in access network due to its flexibility, reasonable bandwidth, and faster im-
plementation (cost effectiveness). Moreover, the well accepted standard for WLAN
by IEEE (i.e., IEEE 802.11b Std.) for medium access control (MAC) and physical
(PHY) layer specification [20] made it easier to be implemented by academia and
industry. There are two coordination functions that are defined in 802.11 for MAC:
the Point Coordination Function (PCF) and the Distributed Coordination Function
(DCF). In the PCF mechanism, a polling technique is employed by the access points
or base nodes to query network nodes for any traffic they may have to send. In
the DCF medium access mode, active nodes compete for the use of the channel in a
distributed manner via the use of the Carrier Sensing Multiple Access with Collision
Avoidance (CSMA/CA) scheme [7]. The DCF has been accepted as primary mode
of communication for MAC and is also referred as Standard-DCF.

There are two types of DCF MAC protocols: basic access mechanism (Standard-
DCF) and virtual carrier sense mechanism. The basic access protocol is a two way
handshaking technique. The node having a packet to transmit senses the channel.
If the channel is sensed free for DCF Inter Frame Space (DIFS) time, it transmits
immediately. A successful transmission of data packet is acknowledged (ACK) by
an ACK-packet. If the ACK-packet is not received by the sender, then the node
defers its retransmission by randomly selecting a backoff time period using binary

14
exponential backoff (BEB) mechanism after DIFS time. In case of virtual carrier
sensing mechanism a packet is transmitted by four way hand shaking mechanism [7].
If a node has a data packet to send, then it first transmits request to send (RTS)
packet on sensing the channel idle for DIFS. On successful transmission of RTS,
destination node sends clear to send (CTS) packet. Thus the channel is reserved for
data transmission by the exchange of RTS and CTS packets. After this, the data
packet is transmitted followed by reception of ACK. If the CTS packet is not received
by the sender, then retransmission of RTS packet is deferred using BEB scheme. In
both the mechanisms of DCF the node with a new packet to send runs BEB algorithm,
either on sensing the channel busy or on sensing the channel idle immediately after
successful transmission of its previous packet.

There were other algorithms proposed to improve the performance of 802.11 [21, 22,
23]. However, the important thing that still remains is that, the performance of the
basic access method strongly depends on the system parameters, mainly contention
window size, number of nodes and offered load in the WLAN. This chapter proposes
a New-DCF MAC protocol for WLAN, in which the saturation throughput remains
stable at higher load, which implies that it is independent of contention window
and network size. The Maximum achievable throughput evaluated theoretically [7]
is close to the simulated saturated throughput in large network sizes. Moreover, the
new protocol adds more fairness to users accessing the medium.

The chapter is organized as follows. Section 2.2 presents the details of the Standard-
DCF protocol defined by IEEE 802.11. The issues in Standard-DCF and related work
done to improve the performance are discussed in Section 2.3. The New-DCF MAC
protocol is presented in Section 2.4. Section 2.5 deals with the analysis and simulation
steps of the New-DCF MAC protocol. Section 2.6 discusses the simulation results of
the proposed protocol. The work is concluded in Section 2.7.

15
2.2 Standard-DCF MAC Protocol

Distributed Coordination Function (DCF) is the basic medium access mechanism for
both ad-hoc and infrastructure modes, also referred as Standard-DCF. In DCF mode,
each station checks whether the medium is idle before attempting to transmit. If the
medium has been sensed idle for a DIFS period, which is 128 µs for 802.11b employing
FHSS physical layer, the transmission can begin immediately. If the medium is de-
termined to be busy, the station shall defer until the end of the current transmission.
After deferral, the station will select a random backoff interval and shall decrement
the backoff interval counter while the medium is idle. Once the backoff interval has
expired, the station begins the transmission. More specifically, the station selects a
random number called backoff time, in the range of 0 and CW -1 (CW is Contention
Window size). The backoff timer decrements the backoff time each time the medium
is detected to be idle for an interval of one slot time. As soon as the backoff timer
expires, the station can begin to transmit. If the transmission is not successful, a col-
lision is considered to have occurred. In this case, the contention window is doubled,
and a new backoff procedure starts again.

The process will continue until the transmission is successful or discarded. The back-
off time, which is used to determine the time interval that a station has to wait
before transmission after deferral, is a random number that lies between 0 and CW -
1. The backoff time is computed as follows [7]: Backoff Time = Random()*Slot Time,
Where Random() is a pseudo random integer drawn from a uniform distribution over
the interval [0,CW -1]. CW is an integer within the range of values of the PHY
characteristics CWmin and CWmax , that is CWmin < CW < CWmax . For 802.11b,
CWmin =32 and CWmax =1024. Slot Time equals the value of the corresponding PHY
characteristics, which is 50 µs for 802.11b with FHSS physical layer. CW parameter
shall take an initial value of CWmin . The CW will take the next value in the series
after each unsuccessful transmission until the CW reaches the value of CWmax . Once
it reaches CWmax , the CW shall remain at the value of CWmax until it is reset. This
improves the stability of the access protocol under high-load conditions. The CW

16
No

last packet
Yes

wait state/ STA idle


decrement DIFS DIFS timer=0 and transmit the packet
1 channel idle
timer
4 6
5 Yes
Idle

No
3
new packet series
generated sense channel
2
stop the timers
Busy
4c

Busy

generate random backoff 4b

4a sense channel

Idle channel
busy

decrement DIFS plus Yes


5a
backoff timers
backoff =0 and
4d
channel idle

Figure 6: Backoff Procedure in 802.11

shall be reset to CWmin after each successful attempt to transmit a packet. The set
of CW values shall be sequentially ascending integer powers of 2, minus 1, beginning
with a PHY specific CWmin value, and continuing up to CWmax value. The back off
procedure is used to reduce the possibility of collision by selecting a different random
backoff time for different stations. The backoff procedure is shown in Fig. 6. The
effect of this backoff procedure is that multiple stations are deferring and go into
random backoff, and then the station having the smallest backoff time will win the
contention. It is seen that CWmin and CWmax are fixed for a given PHY. So, DCF
doesn’t differentiate the data traffic and stations. All stations and traffic classes have
the same priority to access the wireless medium. Thus, different delay and bandwidth
requirements of applications are not supported with the use of DCF.

17
2.3 Issues in MAC and Related Work

In BEB scheme, each competing node, on sensing the channel busy or on collision, sets
up a backoff time period which is selected uniformly between 0 and the Contention
Window (CW -1). In DCF, the CW is dynamically controlled by the BEB algorithm.
The CW is doubled every time, as a transmitting node experiences a packet collision,
i.e., when the ACK is not received before a timeout occurs. If a node is successful in
its packet transmission, the CW is reset to the minimum value. In order to avoid the
CW from growing too large or shrinking too small, two bounds on CW are defined
as the minimum contention window (CWmin ) and the maximum contention window
(CWmax ). Typically restricted to the values 32 and 1024, respectively. However, the
BEB scheme suffers from a fairness problem [21]; some nodes can achieve significantly
larger throughput than others. The fairness problem occurs due to the fact that the
scheme resets the contention window of a successful sender to CWmin , while other
nodes continue to maintain larger contention windows, thus reducing their chances of
seizing the channel and resulting in channel domination by the successful nodes. The
selection of CWmin and CWmax also has significant impact on the performance of the
802.11 Standard-DCF scheme, as reported in [24]. The following are the conclusions
drawn:

1. Using too small values of CWmin at large number of stations causes a large
number of collisions and degradation of network performance.

2. Using too large CWmin at small number of stations causes degradation of the
network performance. The stations that decrement their backoff times and no
one sending the data wastes a lot of bandwidth.

3. Using too small values of CWmax at large number of stations for large values of
offered load brings a large number of collisions and degradation of the network
performance.

18
There have been extensive works on the performance issues of DCF and its improve-
ment in [7, 23, 21, 22]. In Ref. [7], author has done analytical and simulation studies
of both the DCF access mechanisms of 802.11 standard. The author has presented
a methodology to evaluate the saturated throughput (discussed later). However, due
to dependence of BEB scheme of DCF standard on CW and backoff stage, the the-
oretical saturation throughput doesn’t match with simulation results at higher load.
In Ref. [22], authors have discussed regarding an enhanced backoff scheme in which
CW is dynamically reset to let the backoff counter oscillate around the optimal value.
The proposed scheme is described as follows:

1. After a successful transmission, CW is set to the value max[CW/2, CWmin + 1]

2. Whenever a transmission fails, CW is set to the value min[2CW, CWmax + 1].

In this case the throughput is still dependent on CW and network size. In Ref.
[23], authors have proposed exponential increase exponential decrease (EIED) backoff
algorithm, in which the CW is increased and decreased exponentially on collision and
successful transmission, respectively. In EIED, whenever a packet transmitted from a
node is involved in a collision, the contention window size for the node is increased by
backoff factor rI , and and the contention window for the node is decreased by backoff
factor rD if the node transmits a packet successfully. The EIED backoff algorithm
can be represented as follows.

CW = min[rI .CW, CWmax ] on a collision (1)


CW
CW = max[ , CWmin ] on a success (2)
rD

This improves the network performance, but as the load increases the throughput
decreases. Moreover, the performance of EIED is affected by the choice of exponential
factors rI and rD . In the next section we propose a New-DCF MAC protocol which
is independent of the network parameters and provides more fairness to the users.

19
2.4 New-DCF MAC Protocol

We have considered Ts0 and Tc0 as the times that the channel is sensed busy because
of a successful transmission and a collision, respectively. Ts0 and Tc0 exclude DIFS
period. Since a successful transmission results in the reception of ACK after SIFS
period, Ts0 includes the packet transmission time, SIFS and ACK periods along with
the propagation delay δ (Ts0 =Packet transmission time+δ+SIFS+δ+ACK) While on
collision, there is no reception of ACK (Tc0 = Packet transmission time+ δ). The
packet size is assumed to be fixed. The parameter values are given in Table 1. The
following are the three states a node could be in our Proposed-DCF protocol.

1. A node with a new packet to transmit


When a node has a new packet, it senses the channel for DIFS time. If the
channel is idle for a period of DIFS, it will transmit. If the node finds the
channel busy immediately or within DIFS period, then after DIFS period, it
will wait for Ts0 before sensing the channel again for DIFS period. This process
repeats till the node with the new packet finds the channel free for DIFS period
after each Ts0 . Unlike BEB in Standard-DCF, the nodes don’t continuously sense
the channel until the channel is free for a period of DIFS, and also don’t select a
random backoff when channel is sensed busy. The working of the New-DCF in
a network with four nodes having new packets to transmit with different packet
arrival times is shown in Fig.7.

For example fresh packets arrived at four nodes A, B, C, and D, respectively


(see, Fig. 7). Node A senses the channel idle for DIFS time, hence transmits.
Nodes B, C, D first sense the channel for DIFS and find channel busy, hence
defer their transmission by Ts0 after DIFS period. Node B, after waiting for Ts0
time will again start sensing the channel, and if it finds the channel idle for
DIFS period then it transmits. The same is true for nodes C and D. In this
example, it can be seen that no two nodes can collide, with respect to above
arrival pattern. In Fig. 7, Ts0 (A) = Ts0 (B) = Ts0 (C) = Ts0 (D) = Ts0 , (packets are

20
DIFS Ts’ (D)DIFS Ts’ (D)DIFS Ts’(D)DIFS Ts’ (D)

’ ’
DIFS Ts (C) DIFS Ts (C) DIFS Ts (C) ’
DIFS Ts (B) DIFS Ts (B)
’ ’
DIFS Ts’ (A)

A BCD Time Scale (µs)

Figure 7: A network with 4 nodes

of constant size). Also, there is more fairness compared to Standard-DCF since


nodes B, C, D will get the chance to transmit in order of arrival since B has
started sensing the channel before C and C sensed before D.

2. If a node has multiple packets to transmit after the successful transmission of


a packet
To maintain fairness, we have proposed that each node, after a successful trans-
mission, if it has a packet to send, then after DIFS period will wait for a period
of 2Ts0 . After waiting for 2Ts0 time, it will sense the channel and if it finds the
channel idle for DIFS, it sends the consecutive new packet immediately. This
gives fairness to waiting nodes to access channel, instead of a successful node
with more packets monopolizing over the channel. If the node finds the channel
busy within DIFS period after 2Ts0 waiting time, then it further waits for a pe-
riod of Ts0 and checks the channel again. This last step is repeated until it finds
the channel idle for DIFS period after each Ts0 time. Fig. 8 shows a particu-
lar case of starvation if the waiting time is Ts0 instead of 2Ts0 after a successful
transmission of a packet and thus justifies our proposal of waiting for 2Ts0 .

In Fig. 8, node B on sensing the channel busy, waits for Ts0 after DIFS period
and senses the channel again. It continues to do so until it finds the channel
idle for DIFS after each Ts0 . Node C has new packet, and it starts sensing the

21
’ ’ ’ ’
DIFS
Ts (B)
DIFS Ts (B) DIFS Ts (B) DIFS Ts (B)
’ ’ ’
DIFS Ts (C) DIFS
Ts (C) DIFS Ts (C) DIFS
’ ’ ’ ’
DIFS
Ts (A) DIFS Ts (A) DIFS Ts (A) DIFS Ts (A) DIFS

A B C
Time Scale (µs)

Figure 8: Fairness to avoid the case of Starvation

channel exactly at the end of A’s transmission and transmits the packet as it
finds the channel idle for DIFS period. After successful transmission, Node A
waits for Ts0 after DIFS period and senses the channel (Instead of 2Ts0 ), and if
it finds the channel idle it will transmit. Thus if nodes A and C have enough
packets to saturate the channel, will take turns to transmit the packets and
any node which senses the channel between A and C will never get a chance to
transmit. As Shown Fig. 8 node B will not get a chance to transmit, as it will
always sense the channel busy. This problem is avoided if we make the nodes
A and C wait for 2Ts0 after every successful transmission

3. Node involved in collision


On Collision of data packet, each node involved in the collision will do a random
backoff with the contention window size as 32. They will select a random number
in contention window interval (0, 31) and waits for that many number of slot
times (δ). After this period the node senses the channel for DIFS. If it finds
the channel idle at the end of this period the node will transmit the packet,
otherwise it will wait for Ts0 and then again sense the channel for DIFS period.
It keeps on waiting for Ts0 until it finds the channel idle for a period of DIFS
after Ts0 .

For example in Fig. 9, at B and C, packets arrived at same time and both find
the channel idle for DIFS. Hence both nodes B and C will transmit simultane-
ously, resulting in a collision. After the nodes detect the collision by the lack of

22
DIFS Ts’ DIFS Tc’ (C) t2 DIFS
Ts’ (C) DIFS Ts’ (C) ’
DIFS Ts (C)

Tc’ (B) t1 DIFS


Ts’ (B) DIFS Ts (B)’ Ts’ (B) DIFS

Ts’ (A) DIFS Ts’ (A) Ts’ (A) DIFS Ts’ (A) DIFS Ts’ (A) DIFS Ts’ (A)

Figure 9: Collision Resolution

ACK, they choose a random number in the window size of (0, 31) and wait for
that many slots before sensing the channel again. In Fig. 9, t1 and t2 are the
random times that nodes B and C will wait respectively. At the end of these
times if the node finds channel idle for DIFS, it will transmit or if channel is
busy it will wait for Ts0 to sense the channel again and this process of waiting
for Ts0 and checking for DIFS period is repeated until it finds the channel idle
for DIFS period.

The crux in this protocol is the start up times of the nodes in the network or the times
at which the nodes sense the channel for transmission. If the nodes in the network
come up at different times (which is of high probability) then the protocol ensures
that no two nodes will be involved in a collision and the throughput will be stable
whatever may be the load on the network. Even if there is more than one node that
starts up or started sensing at the same time, the nodes, as the time progress will be
out of collisions and then on will not involve in any collisions.

2.5 Analysis and Simulation


2.5.1 Throughput Analysis

Let S be the throughput, defined as the fraction of time the channel is used to
successfully transmit payload bits. To compute S, let us analyze what can happen

23
in a randomly chosen slot time. Assuming that there are n nodes contending on
the channel, and each transmits with probability τ . Let X be the random variable
indicating the number of transmissions on the channel. The domain of X is (0, n). A
transmission occurring on the channel is successful if there is exactly one transmission
on the channel i.e. X=1. Let Ps be the probability that a transmission is successful.
The probability that a node does not transmit is 1-τ . So, for a successful transmission,
n-1 nodes do not transmit with the probability 1-τ and only one node transmits with
a probability τ .

Ps = P (X = 1) = C1n τ (1 − τ )n−1 (3)

The channel is idle if there is no transmission on the channel i.e. X=0. Pi is the
probability that the channel is idle. All the n nodes do not transmit, each with a
probability 1-τ .

Pi = P (X = 0) = (1 − τ )n (4)

The channel contains a collision if there is more than one transmission on the channel
i.e. more than one node transmitting at the same time X >1. Pc = probability that
the transmission occurring on the channel has been collided.

Pc = P (X > 1) = 1 − (P (X = 0) + P (X = 1)) = 1 − (1 − τ )n − nτ (1 − τ )n−1 (5)

Let Ts be the average time the channel is sensed busy because of a successful trans-
mission. Tc is the average time the channel is sensed busy by each node during a
collision and Tp is the average time the channel is sensed busy because of successful
transmission of packet payload bits. Following analytical methodology in [7],

Avg. time channel is sensed busy f or successf ul transmission of payload bits


S= (6)
Avg. timespent on the channel f or a successf ul transmission

24
P s Tp
= (7)
Ps Ts + Pc Tc + Pi σ

nτ (1 − τ )n−1 Tp
= (8)
nτ (1 − τ )n−1 Ts + (1 − (1 − τ )n − nτ (1 − τ )n−1 )Tc + (1 − τ )n σ

σ is the empty slot time. Note that the above throughput expression has been ob-
tained without the need to specify the access mechanism employed. To specifically
compute the throughput for a given DCF access mechanism it is now necessary only
to specify the corresponding values of Ts and Tc . For 802.11 basic access mechanism.

H = P HY hdr + M AChdr be the packet header and δ be the propagation delay (9)

Ts = H + Tp + SIF S + δ + ACK + DIF S + δ (10)

Tc = H + Tp + DIF S + δ (11)

Ts , Tc , Tp and δ are constants and are in same units. Packets are assumed to be of
fixed length. Dividing Equation 8 by nτ (1 − τ )n−1 we get

Tp
(1−τ )n σ+(1−(1−τ )n )Tc
(12)
Ts − Tc + nτ (1−τ )n−1

Throughput S is maximized when the following quantity is maximized [7].

nτ (1 − τ )n − 1
(13)
Tc∗ + (1 − τ )n (1 − Tc∗ )

25
Tc
where Tc∗ = δ
. Differentiating with respect to τ and equating to 0 we get, after some
simplifications, the following equation:

(1 − τ )n − Tc∗ nτ − [1 − (1 − τ )n ] = 0 (14)

under the condition τ << 1

n(n − 1)τ 2
(1 − τ )n ≈ 1 − nτ + (15)
2

holds, and yields the the following approximate solution:

q
[n+2(n−1)(Tc∗ −1)]
n
− 1
τ= ≈ q1 (16)
(n − 1)(Tc∗ − 1) n
Tc∗
2

So, we can compute the optimal transmission probability τ that each node should
adopt in order to achieve maximum throughput performance within a considered
network scenario (i.e. no. of nodes n). In 802.11 standard using binary exponential
backoff algorithm, the proper choice of CW parameters CWmin and CWmax , m (back-
off stage) has a substantial influence on the network performance. Unfortunately in
the 802.11 standard, the values CW and m are hardwired in the PHY layer and thus
the throughput in some network scenarios can be substantially lower than maximum
achievable. But the New-DCF protocol due to inherent properties of backoff and con-
stant time of sensing (Ts ), yields throughput close to the maximum value achieved
theoretically [7]. We calculated maximum throughput by substituting the value of τ
from (16) in (8) for different network sizes n.

2.5.2 Simulation

There are some simulation and analytical studies on the performance of the CSMA/CA
protocol [24, 7]. In [7], the discrete-time Markov Chain was used to analyze the sat-
urated throughput of IEEE 802.11. In this work, we propose the simulation model

26
according to New-DCF scheme, by taking account the waiting time Ts under busy
medium conditions. We show by simulation how the modified scheme improves the
saturation throughput of IEEE 802.11. Furthermore, the discrete-time Markov Chain
model corresponding to the new scheme is shown in the Fig.10

Ts
pb
Ts Ts
0, 0 0, 1 0, 2

Ts p/W0
pb
σ σ σ σ
1, 0 1, 1 1, W 0 -2
1, W 0 -1

p/W0

Figure 10: The Markov Chain Model of the Proposed Scheme

The discrete Markov Chain model, Fig. 10, is a two dimensional process, represented
by functions b(t) and s(t). The function b(t) is defined to be the stochastic process
representing the back off time counter for a given node. s(t) is the stochastic process
representing the backoff stage i for the same node at time t. There are only two stages
in the proposed model, either stage 0 or 1. In stage 0 the backoff counter decrements
by Ts (Successful Transmission Time) and in stage 1 the backoff counter decrements
by slot time σ. Further, p is the probability for transmitted packets to collide and pb
is the probability for the channel to be sensed in a busy status. The probabilities p
and pb are independent of backoff procedure. Wo (referred as CW ) is the constant
window size, typically 32. In the Markov Chain shown the non null probabilities are,

P (1, k|1, k + 1) = 1 k ∈ (0, Wo − 2) (17)

27
P (0, 2|i, 0) = 1 − p i ∈ (0, 1) (18)

p
P (1, k|i, 0) = k ∈ (0, Wo − 1) i ∈ (0, 1) (19)
Wo

Equation (17) accounts for the fact that the backoff time is decremented by a slot time
with a probability of 1 in the stage 1. ‘σ’ illustrated in the Markov chain implies that
the node moves to the previous state i.e., (1, k) ← (1, k + 1) by decrementing the slot
time. Equation (18) accounts for the fact that a new packet following a successful
packet transmission with a probability 1-p, on finding the channel idle starts with
backoff stage 0 and backoff counter 2. Equation (17) models the system after an
unsuccessful transmission. When an unsuccessful transmission occurs at the backoff
stage i (i ∈ 0, 1) the new initial backoff value is uniformly chosen in the range (0,
p
Wo ) with a probability Wo
and the backoff stage 1.

2.6 Results and Discussion

The analytical and simulation models are presented sections 2.5.1 as well as 2.5.2,
respectively, to evaluate the throughput and saturation-throughput of New-DCF pro-
tocol. The simulation is done on the basis of discrete time event Markov chain model
and developed over Java platform. The simulation process has been tested with some
published results in IEEE proceedings [7], and found correct on matching the re-
sults. Table 1, presents the values of parameters for the theoretical-evaluation and
simulation. The offered load G (new arrival + deferred packets), is generated ac-
cording to Poisson arrival process by all the nodes in the network. In New-DCF the
CW size is taken as 32. The results are mainly about throughput and saturation-
throughput with respect to offered load as well as number of node for New-DCF and
the Standard-DCF [20, 7]. We assumed Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS)
as the PHY Layer with the parameters values shown in table 1. The channel bit rate

28
Table 1: FHSS System Parameters and Additional Parameters used for Simulation

Parameter Value
Packet Payload 8184 bits
MAC Header 272 bits
PHY Header 128 bits
ACK 112 bits + PHY Header
Channel Bit Rate 1 Mbits/sec
Propagation Delay 1 µs
Slot Time 50 µs
SIFS 28 µs
DIFS 128 µs
Ts 8982 µs
Tc 8713 µs

for the WLAN is taken as 1 Mbps instead of 11 Mbps as followed by several papers
[7]. This modification doesn’t effect the performance of the MAC protocol because it
is independent of the bit rate.

In Fig. 11 we first present the plots of simulation results for New-DCF and Standard-
DCF throughput versus offered load, for network with 20 nodes. The plots show that
at lower G, i.e. (0.2≤ G ≤1.0), the throughput of New-DCF and Standard-DCF are
close. However, for G ≥1, New-DCF throughput is more than Standard-DCF as well
as stable. This is because in Standard-DCF, whenever a node with a new packet
finds the channel busy, it defers the channel sensing again by random backoff (i.e.,
following BEB). However, in case of New-DCF on finding the channel busy the node
backs off for a constant time Ts before sensing the channel again. So, by backing off
for a constant time in New-DCF, we are reducing the chance of two nodes selecting
the same backoff time period as in Standard-DCF, which is of very high possibility
at high loads. Hence, at higher load New-DCF has more stable as well as higher
throughput.

In Fig.12, we have presented the plots for New-DCF throughput for different network
sizes with respect to offered load . It is observed that with higher nodes (20), the
network reaches to stable throughput at lower load in comparison to smaller network

29
0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6
Throughput (S)

0.5

0.4 20 Nodes with New-DCF


20 Nodes with Standard-DCF
0.3

0.2

0.1

0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3
Offered Load (G)
Figure 11: Offered Load (G) versus Throughput of New-DCF and Standard-DCF
for network with 20 nodes

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6
Throughput (S)

0.5

0.4 20 Nodes
10 Nodes
0.3 5 Nodes

0.2

0.1

0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3
Offered Load (G)
Figure 12: New-DCF Throughput (S) Versus Offered Load (G) for different number
of nodes

30
0.9

0.8

0.7
Saturation Throughput

0.6

0.5 New-DCF
Standard-DCF
0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
Number of Nodes
Figure 13: Saturation Throughput Versus Number of nodes for New-DCF and
Standard-DCF

size (say, 10). This result is expected because as the network size increase the to-
tal offered load increases faster, resulting in quicker stable (saturation) throughput.
However, at higher value of G the throughput of all network sizes reaches to stable
throughput value.

In Fig.13, we have plotted the saturation throughput versus number of nodes in New-
DCF as well as Standard-DCF protocol. The load considered to evaluate the above
is the maximum load at which the network with particular number of nodes gives
saturation throughput. The plots show that for small network sizes (i.e., low load)
the Standard-DCF yields better saturation throughput because the idle time is more
in the case of New-DCF, which is due to waiting of Ts whenever a station finds the
channel busy and for 2Ts after every successful transmission. However, as the network
size increase more than 7, the New-DCF mechanism gives better performance than
the Standard-DCF mechanism. This is because the throughput in Standard-DCF is
dependent on CW and network size. As the network size increases the number of
collisions increases as a result of which the saturation throughput decreases.

31
2.7 Conclusion

In this chapter, we have proposed a New-DCF protocol, and presented an analytical


model as well as simulation results. Our investigation reveals that, our proposed
protocol achieves better and stable throughput and is also independent of CW and
number of nodes at higher load compared to Standard-DCF. Also, it adds more
fairness to the users. In the next chapter we extend the present analytical model
to evaluate the delay performance of New-DCF MAC protocol and give comparison
results with respect to Standard-DCF.

32
CHAPTER III

DELAY ANALYSIS OF NEW-DCF MAC


PROTOCOL FOR IEEE 802.11 WLAN

3.1 Introduction

In the previous chapter we have proposed New-DCF MAC protocol and presented
throughput analysis using discrete Markov chain model. In this chapter we extend
the previous analytical model to evaluate the delay performance of New-DCF MAC
protocol. Delay is one of the most important performance characteristics in any
network. Delay for a data frame in a wireless network [25] in defined as the time
it takes for an uncollided copy of the frame to reach the receiver from the time the
frame is generated. The delay in the multiple access MAC protocols of Wireless LANs
mainly constitute of delay in the channel access due to other nodes transmitting and
the delay caused by collisions. The IEEE 802.11 standard defines a backoff procedure
to access the channel as explained in Fig. 6. Without the backoff procedure, each
frame experiences an identical delay (DIFS+ δ +lpck ) where δ is the propagation delay
and lpck is the transmission time of the packet which is proportional to the length
of the packet. The delay becomes non deterministic when we introduce backoff and
re-transmissions in the model. The time a frame takes to be successfully transmitted
now depends on the system state when the frame is generated. If a large number of
stations are waiting to transmit frames, it will be a long time before the station senses
the channel free for a time longer than DIFS to be able to transmit this frame. Even
when it is able to transmit the frame, it is likely that some other station also transmits
within δ (Note that it takes a time δ before a station can sense a transmission from
another station). This will lead to a collision and the frame will have to be re-
transmitted. Thus, if the system is heavily loaded, the frame will suffer longer delays

33
and more retransmissions than if few stations have frames to send. This results in
very large delays and causes the system to be temporarily unstable. The system does
seem to return to a stable operating point but frames suffer excessive delays during
the time the system was unstable.

This chapter deals with the delay performance of the New-DCF in comparison to
Standard-DCF. The following sections explain the delay characteristics of both New-
DCF and Standard-DCF. In the section 3.2, we present the delay analysis which is
derived independent of the MAC protocol. Simulation results showing the comparison
graphs of average delay between New-DCF and Standard-DCF are given in 3.3. We
conclude the chapter in section 3.4

3.1.1 Delay Characteristics in Standard-DCF

The backoff procedure in Standard-DCF MAC protocol defined by the IEEE 802.11
standard [26] states: a station who wants to access the channel has to sense the chan-
nel during each time slot. If the channel has been idle for a Distributed Inter Frame
Spacing (DIFS), the station will generate a uniform random number in the range of
[0, CW -1], where CW is called contention window size. In the backoff procedure,
a station uses this generated random number as its random backoff time slots. If
and only if the channel keeps idle to the end of the backoff time slot 0, the station
will commence to transmit its frame. Otherwise, the contention window size will be
doubled, and the same procedure as described above will repeat. In order to provide
fairness to all stations in a service area, after each successful transmission, the station
which just finished transmitting its packets is forced to experience a DIFS deference,
and then repeat the backoff procedure. Note that when a station is currently in its
backoff procedure, if during any backoff time slot the channel is busy, the backoff
procedure will be suspended and will be resumed after a DIFS idle period.

It is observed that employing the above described backoff procedure of Standard-DCF


MAC protocol, at higher loads a station which generates a frame when a large number
of stations are in backoff, gets stuck in the re-transmission cycle and suffers large

34
delays and low throughput. This is mainly due to huge number of collisions in the
medium at high loads. Thus, using Standard-DCF MAC protocol it is substantially
more difficult to provide delay guarantees, and the performance of the MAC protocol
can easily become the bottleneck due to factors like channel contention delays and
collisions as explained above.

3.1.2 Delay Characteristics in New-DCF

The New-DCF MAC protocol proposed in [17] is more deterministic at high loads.
The protocol is stated as follows: When a node has a new packet to transmit, it
first senses the channel idle for DIFS (Distributed Inter frame Space) time. If the
channel is idle, it will transmit immediately. Otherwise, the node waits for a fixed
time equal to the packet transmission time before sensing the channel again and this
process repeats until it finds the channel idle for DIFS time. If a node has multiple
packets to transmit, then after every successful transmission the node waits for a fixed
time of two times the packet transmission time before sensing the channel again. If
two nodes transmit packets at the same time, then there will be a collision, which is
detected by the lack of ACK. On collision, each node will select a random number
in Contention Window (0,31) and waits for that many number of slot times before
trying for retransmission.

The protocol becomes deterministic at high loads i.e., in case that all the stations
come up at different times then each station waits for a constant time and transmits
the data frames. No station is thus involved in collision. This is illustrated in Fig. 7.
Even in the case of two or more stations transmit the data frame within δ time, the
collision is resolved as shown in Fig. 9 and there after, the nodes are out of sync and
thus would never involve in collision. Thus, at high loads, due to very less number
of collisions, every node gets the chance of transmission and are very less frequently
stuck in retransmission cycle. The system is thus highly stable and results very less
and guaranteed delay in comparison with delay in Standard-DCF MAC protocol.

35
3.2 Analysis and Simulation

In this work, throughput and delay simulation model is build according to the New-
DCF following the analysis presented in chapter 2. The simulation follows discrete
Markov-chain model [17]. Since no hidden nodes are considered, collisions take place
because two or more contending stations choose the same backoff slot to transmit. The
time needed for a frame transmission is considered to start when a frame becomes head
of the stations queue and is finished when an positive acknowledgement is received.
Assuming that the frame drop probability is very low and can be neglected, the
average frame delay E[D] is given by:

E[D] = E[X].E[length of a slot time] (20)

where E[X] is the average number of slot times required for successfully transmitting a
new frame and E[length of a slot time] is the average length of a slot time. According
to eqns. (6), (7) E[length of a slot time] is equal to:

E[length of a slot time] = Ps Ts + Pc Tc + Pi σ (21)

where the terms Ps , Pc and Pi refer to the probability of a successful transmission,


collision and no transmissions in the medium respectively. Ts and Tc are the times
for successful transmission and collision in the medium. σ is the unit slot time.
Substituting the terms in the above equation from eqns. 3 - 5, we get

E[length of a slot time] = nτ (1 − τ )n−1 Ts + (1 − (1 − τ )n − nτ (1 − τ )n−1 )Tc + (1 − τ )n σ(22)

τ is the probability that a node transmits in a randomly chosen slot time. Therefore,
1
τ
gives the number of slot times required for transmitting a new frame normalized
with the frame length. let p be the independent and constant collision probability

36
regardless of the number of retransmissions. W = CW and n be the contention
window size and number of nodes in the network respectively. m be the backoff
stage. As any transmission occurs when the backoff time counter is equal to zero,
regardless of the backoff stage, the τ is given by [27]:

2(1 − 2p)
τ= (23)
(1 − 2p)(W + 1) + pW (1 − (2p)m )

However, in general τ , depends on the conditional collision probability p, which is


still unknown. To find the value of it, it is sufficient to note that the probability that
a transmitted packet encounters a collision, is the probability that, in a time slot,
at least one of the n-1 remaining stations transmit. The fundamental independence
assumption given above implies that each transmission sees the system in the same
state, i.e., in steady state. At steady state, each remaining station transmits a packet
with probability τ . Thus the relation between p and τ is

p = 1 − (1 − τ )n−1 (24)

Hence, E[X] is given by

(1 − 2p)(W + 1) + pW (1 − (2p)m )
E[X] = (25)
2(1 − 2p)

Finally the average delay can calculated by

E[D] = (((1 − 2p)(W + 1) + pW (1 − (2p)m ))(nτ (1 − τ )n−1 +

(1 − (1 − τ )n − nτ (1 − τ )n−1 )Tc + (1 − τ )n σ))/2(1 − 2p)

The above equations are derived independent of the MAC protocol employed. The
only difference between Standard-DCF and New-DCF is the backoff mechanism and

37
hence the values of τ and p. The value of τ has been evaluated by simulation for
different loads in a network of given number of nodes. At high loads esp. when
number of nodes in WLAN is large (> 10), the transmission probability and hence the
probability of collision is observed to be constant [7]. Also, as the number of collisions
are high in Standard-DCF at high loads, the value of τ is much less compared to the
value in case of New-DCF.

The simulation results are presented in the next section, which we have done, using
a Markov chain discrete time event model. We have considered Frequency Hopping
Spread Spectrum (FHSS) as the PHY layer in WLAN. The network parameters con-
sidered are Packet size of 8584 bits including MAC and PHY header, Propagation
delay as 1 µs, slot time is 50 µs, DIFS is 128 µs and SIFS is 50 µs which are same as
that considered for simulations in chapter 2.

3.3 Results and Discussion

The delay is evaluated as the time difference between the time the packet is generated
in the transmitting node till the time Acknowledgement (ACK) packet is received from
the receiving node. To have a clear picture of the performance of both Standard-DCF
and New-DCF, we have shown the comparison graph between the two MAC protocols
with respect to throughput. Fig. 14 is the graph drawn between throughput (S) and
offered load for Standard-DCF and New-DCF for network size of 10. The offered
load G (new arrival + deferred packets), is generated according to Poisson arrival
process by all the nodes in the network. With G > 0.85, S for New-DCF is more
than Standard-DCF as well as stable. This is because in Standard-DCF, whenever
a node with a new packet finds the channel busy, it defers the sensing the channel
by random backoff time (i.e., BEB). However, in case of New-DCF on finding the
channel busy the node does backoff for a constant time Ts0 (which is proportional to
the packet transmission time, see Fig. 7) before sensing the channel again. So, by
not allowing the nodes to generate random backoff times more often, we are reducing
the chance of two nodes selecting the same backoff slot as in Standard-DCF. Hence,

38
at higher load New-DCF has more stable as well as higher throughput and thus, this
results in less delay and more successful packet transmissions in New-DCF compared
to Standard-DCF.

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6
Throughput (S)

0.5 10 Nodes with New-DCF


10 Nodes with Standard-DCF
0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8
Offered Load (G)
Figure 14: Offered Load (G) versus Throughput of New-DCF and Standard-DCF
for 10 nodes network

The simulation is run for a given time and the delay for each successful packet trans-
mission in the medium is calculated. Hence, the average delay of the system is
evaluated over the given time i.e., sum of delays of all the successful packet transmis-
sion divided by total number of packets that are successfully transmitted. Fig. 15
shows the graph between average delay and offered load for a network of 10 nodes
and it is observed that the average delay for New-DCF Mechanism is much lower
than that for Standard-DCF for G > 0.5. This is because in Standard-DCF, when
G > 0.5 the number of collisions as well as the number of nodes waiting to transmit
increases. This is due to its inherent property of choosing random back off time on
finding channel busy and also increasing the back off stage each time a node involves
in collision. But in New-DCF there are fewer collisions and also nodes sensing the
channel busy first will get the chance to transmit because of more fairness in the
proposed protocol, thus resulting in low average delay.

39
10

10 Nodes with New-DCF


10 Nodes with Standard-DCF
Average Delay (sec)

0.1

0.01
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9
Offered Load (G)
Figure 15: Average Delay Versus Number of nodes for New-DCF and Standard-DCF

10

20 Nodes with New-DCF


20 Nodes with Standard-DCF
Average Delay (sec)

0.1

0.01
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9
Offered Load (G)
Figure 16: Average Delay Versus Number of nodes for New-DCF and Standard-DCF

40
Fig. 16 is the graph between average delay and offered load for a network of 20
nodes. As compared to Fig. 15, the traffic in the network is high as the number of
nodes is high. It is observed the same trend as Fig. 15, the Standard-DCF has less
delay at low loads and at high loads i.e. G >0.5, New-DCF has less delay. Thus, the
New-DCF proves to be superior to Standard-DCF in delay performance and also can
support high number of nodes when compared to Standard-DCF.

3.4 Conclusion

In this chapter, We have analyzed the average delay in Wireless LAN employing
New-DCF MAC Protocol. The analytical model presented in the previous chapter
has been extended to analyze the delay performance. It is then shown by simulations
that the New-DCF protocol in addition to achieving better and stable throughput,
gives better delay performance than the Standard-DCF. The average delay in New-
DCF MAC protocol is slightly greater than Standard-DCF at low loads because of
more idle time in case of New-DCF, but at high loads, New-DCF has much less
average delay compared to Standard-DCF due to reduced number of collisions.

41
CHAPTER IV

THROUGHPUT EVALUATION OF HYBRID


NETWORK WITH WLANS
INTERCONNECTED BY OPTICAL
BACKBONE

4.1 Introduction

In chapters 2 and 3 we analyzed the throughput and delay performance of New-


DCF MAC protocol for 802.11 WLAN. In the present chapter and the following one,
we steer our investigation on the performance issues in a hybrid topology formed
by WLANs interconnected by optical backbone. A Hybrid Network formed with
Wireless LANs (WLANs) interconnected by optical backbone is the future solution
for big organizations and large institutions which need to support high backbone
traffic along with providing flexibility and mobility to the users.

The wireless local area network (WLAN) has become a popular mode of communica-
tion in access network due to its flexibility, reasonable bandwidth, and faster imple-
mentation (cost effectiveness). Moreover, the well accepted standard for WLAN by
IEEE (i.e., IEEE 802.11 Standard) for medium access control (MAC) and physical
(PHY) layer specification [20] made it easier for faster proliferation in academia, cor-
porate and in various public places. However, WLAN devices i.e., access points (APs),
are yet to be matured for supporting large number of users needing high bandwidth for
communication. Hence, in large corporate or academic campus a few number of users
will be under a single wireless AP and multiple APs will be interconnected by wired
backbone. The optical network is popularly being used as wired backbone network

42
to handle high data traffic and also becoming more feasible economically. We intend
to study the performance of a unique architecture with WLANs interconnected by
optical backbone, which is going to be heavily deployed in large institutions or busi-
ness organizations. The WLANs can be interconnected by a single wavelength optical
backbone. However, when the number of WLANs and the traffic among the WLANs
through backbone (i.e. inter access point communication) are increased, performance
of the backbone may degrade. One possible way to overcome this backbone limitation
is to employ concurrent transmissions in the optical backbone by using Wavelength
Division Multiplexing (WDM). In this chapter, we considered WDM instead of single
wavelength transmission in analysis and simulation because it is shown to achieve
improved backbone throughput [12]. In the next chapter we study the effect of single
wavelength transmission in the optical backbone.

This chapter presents a novel theoretical methodology to evaluate the individual


throughputs of individual WLANs and backbone as well as end-to-end success proba-
bility of the hybrid network architecture. We have defined two kinds of traffic flowing
in the proposed network architecture, which are intra access point traffic and inter ac-
cess point traffic. Intra access point traffic is the traffic generated by a node under an
access point destined to the node under the same access point, where as inter access
point (also, inter-WLAN) traffic is defined as the traffic generated by a node in one
access point destined to a node under a different access point. In the hybrid topology
(Fig. 17) under consideration, the end-to-end success probability would be governed
by the throughput of WLANs as well as the optical backbone, and indeed depend on
the intra and inter access point traffic. The WLAN and backbone throughput is solely
dependent on the amount of intra and inter access point communication. Our analy-
sis captures these phenomena by modeling the traffic in a WLAN as a sum of locally
generated traffic and the traffic arriving from the backbone due to inter WLAN com-
munication. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, an iterative approach (explained
in detail later) for end-to-end performance analysis for such a hybrid topology with
WLANs has not been reported so far in the literature. The Section 4.1.1 explains
in detail the network topology with the description of MAC protocols employed in

43
WLAN and optical WDM backbone.

4.1.1 Network Topology

The current most popular WLAN standard, IEEE 802.11b [26], provides bandwidth
up to 11 Mbps and the bandwidth in the optical backbone can reach well above
1Gbps. The main function of APs is the forwarding of packets destined to the nodes
associated with it. In the network topology under consideration (Fig. 17), N APs are
inter-connected through an optical backbone, and each WLAN uses New-DCF [17]
mechanism as MAC protocol. Each WLAN has a central node called access point.
Any node belonging to a given WLAN communicates through the access point with
the nodes located in the same WLAN or in other WLANs. Thus a user in a Wireless
LAN, who has to send a packet to another user in different Wireless LAN, will first
send its packet to its own AP. Then the backbone will carry the packet from the
sending AP to the destination AP, from where the packet would eventually be sent to
the appropriate user within the WLAN. It is assumed that optoelectronic conversion
of signals takes place at the APs for inter-WLAN communication. The AP acts as
gateway between backbone and WLAN and hence the terms AP and WLAN are used
interchangeably throughout the paper.

The Primary medium access control (MAC) technique for 802.11 WLAN is called
distributed coordination function (DCF). The DCF is carrier sense multiple access
with collision avoidance (CSMA/CA) scheme using binary exponential backoff (BEB)
algorithm. We have used a novel New-DCF MAC protocol for WLAN, in which the
saturation throughput remains stable at higher load, which implies that it indepen-
dent of contention window and network size [17]. Also by virtue of New-DCF, as the
load in the WLAN increases the throughput stabilizes and reaches saturation value,
which is equal to the maximum achievable value theoretically.

The proposed backbone network employs a passive optical star as its physical topology
for multi wavelength (i.e., WDM) communication. The main features of such physical

44
passive star configuration are: (1) relative independence between logical interconnec-
tion pattern and physical topology, where the logical connectivity is obtained by the
assignment of the wavelengths to each data packet transmission on the backbone; (2)
uniform power distribution among all nodes (i.e., all APs) connected to passive star
in comparison to bus and ring; (3) better network reliability as no power is needed
to operate the passive star coupler.

As the WLANs to be interconnected may be distributed far apart, causing propaga-


tion delay time between APs to be large and also due to high speed optical trans-
mission time becomes small compared to the end-to-end backbone propagation delay.
This may restrict the size of the backbone when CSMA/CD is used as its MAC pro-
tocol. Therefore, we have considered ALOHA-based MAC protocols for the network
backbone. The bit rate per channel (i.e., for each wavelength) in the backbone is
assumed to be 10 times the bit rate of individual WLANs. For WDM backbone,
we have adopted slotted-ALOHA and ALOHA-MAC protocols for control and data
channels respectively. Each tunable transmitter and receiver at an AP can transmit
and receive single control wavelength λ and D number of data channels (i.e. 1,2,3...D)
respectively. Each data packet is L times larger than the control packet. Whenever a
data packet arrives at the access point from its parent WLAN for inter-WLAN com-
munication, it transmits a control packet on the backbone in the next control slot.
All the APs are synchronized to the control time slots. The control packet carries the
information of source address, destination address and a randomly chosen data chan-
nel (wavelength) out of a given number of wavelengths, on which it will transmit the
data packet. If the control packet is successful then immediately corresponding data
packet is transmitted on the data channel, already intimated in the control channel
transmission. If collision occurs either in the control packet or in the data packet, the
packet is discarded.

This chapter evaluates end-to-end success probability of a packet in case of inter-


WLAN communication. Moreover, it presents analysis as well as simulation results
of throughput of WLAN and backbone for a two-level hybrid topology (Fig. 17). It is

45
Wireless LANs Optical Wireless LANs
Backbone

Node 1 Node 1
Access Access
Point 2 Point 3

Node M Node M
Passive Star
Coupler

Access Node 1
Node 1 Point 1 Access
Point N

Node M
Node M

Figure 17: Network Topology having Wireless LANs interconnected by optical back-
bone

revealed that the probability of inter-WLAN communication and number of WLANs


has significant impact on the backbone throughput and also on the end-to-end success
probability of a packet in the entire network. For a given WLAN load, higher the
probability of inter-WLAN communication, higher the throughputs of WLAN and
backbone. Moreover, the analysis solves design issues with respect to number of users
as well as WLANs, one can connect to a backbone for a given network configuration
i.e. 10Mbps WLANs interconnected by 100 Mbps WDM optical backbone. Section
4.2 presents throughput analysis of individual WLAN and backbone, as well as end-
to-end success probability. This is followed by simulation results and discussion in
Section 4.3. We conclude the chapter in Section 4.4 with future work.

4.2 Throughput Analysis

In this section, we evaluate end-to-end success probability of a packet moving from


one WLAN to other WLAN through optical WDM backbone, along with individual
WLAN and optical backbone throughput. We have considered all the WLANs to be

46
identical in size and traffic (i.e., packet arrival rate) along with same amount of inter-
WLAN traffic. The bit-rate per channel (i.e., for each wavelength) in the backbone
is assumed to be B times the bit rate of individual WLANs. Let G0 be the traffic
originating from each WLAN operating with New-DCF MAC Protocol. The New-
DCF can be summarized as follows: When a node has a new packet to transmit, it
first senses the channel idle for DIFS (Distributed Inter frame Space) time. If the
channel is idle, it will transmit immediately. Otherwise, the node waits for a fixed
time equal to the packet transmission time before sensing the channel again and this
process repeats until it finds the channel idle for DIFS time. If a node has multiple
packets to transmit, then after every successful transmission the node waits for a fixed
time of two times the packet transmission time before sensing the channel again. If
two nodes transmit packets at the same time, then there will be a collision, which is
detected by the lack of ACK. On collision, each node will select a random number
in Contention Window (0,31) and waits for that many number of slot times before
trying for retransmission.

In Wireless LAN (i.e., under each access point) let us assume that, there are n nodes
contending on the channel, and each transmits with probability τ with σ as the empty
slot time. Ts be the average time the channel is sensed busy because of a successful
transmission including DIFS period i.e., the average time after which the channel will
be ready to be accessed if there is a successful transmission on the channel. Tc is the
average time the channel is sensed busy by each node during a collision, and Tp is the
average time the channel is sensed busy because of successful transmission of packet
payload bits. Then throughput S of each WLAN in isolation can be expressed as [7],

nτ (1 − τ )n−1 Tp
S= (26)
nτ (1 − τ )n−1 + (1 − (1 − τ )n − nτ (1 − τ )n−1 )Tc + (1 − τ )n σ

The unknown parameter in eqn. 27 is τ , which depends on the MAC protocol used
in WLAN, which is New-DCF in this case. The value of τ has been evaluated by
simulation for different loads in a network of given number of nodes. At high loads

47
esp. when number of nodes in WLAN is large (> 10), the transmission probability and
hence the probability of collision is observed to be constant [7]. When one connects
the APs on the backbone, a fraction of the originating traffic G0 in each WLAN,
intended for inter-WLAN (referred as inter-APs) communication, will be arriving on
the backbone through the respective AP. A part of this traffic will be successful on the
backbone and will eventually reach the desired destination AP. Subsequently, each
destination AP will transmit these packets within its own WLAN to the respective
destination node. Thus the total traffic load (GT ) of each WLAN will increase because
of the arrival of external packets, which were originated by the users belonging to the
other WLANs. Hence, we have a dynamic situation where the throughput of each
WLAN is dependent on the original load G0 plus the incoming load, GIN C , arriving
from the backbone due to inter-APs communication. Thus the evaluation of the
resultant throughput in the presence of backbone load in each WLAN would require
the estimate of total WLAN load given by

GT = G0 + GIN C (27)

The evaluation of GIN C requires a prior estimate of S itself, making the analysis
intractable. Thus we adopt the following iterative approach leading to a stationary
solution. Let the probability of generation of inter access point or outgoing packet
(i.e., packet destined to a node in a different AP) be Pout . Considering N WLANs, the
offered external traffic Pout G0 from any WLAN is assumed to be uniformly distributed
among all the remaining (N -1) LANs. We start with GIN C =0, and denoting S by S0
we have the throughput of New-DCF WLAN as,

S0 = G0 ∗ PW LAN (0) (28)

PW LAN (0) represents the probability of successful transmission of a packet in a WLAN


for a given G0 . It can also be defined as the fraction of successful number of packets

48
out of the total number of packets generated over a given time interval. The outgoing
traffic GOU T from each WLAN onto the backbone is given by WLAN throughput
weighed by the probability of inter-APs communication Pout , i.e.,

GOU T = Pout S0 (29)

Given, B is the number of times the bit rate of backbone faster than individual WLAN
bit rate, and N the number of WLANs connected to backbone, the total incident load
on the backbone can be expressed as,

N GOU T N Pout S0
GB (0) = = (30)
B B

The backbone throughput evaluated based on the above estimate of backbone traffic
gives the first order estimate of the incoming traffic to each WLAN, GIN C given by
(27). Using this estimate of GIN C , we evaluate GT and the second best estimate
of WLAN throughput S1 . We repeat this process until the following condition is
satisfied

|Sn − Sn−1 |
= ², where² << 1 (31)
Sn−1

The MAC protocol adopted for control/data channel for WDM backbone is Slotted-
ALOHA/ALOHA, where in each user (i.e. AP) transmits a control packet in the first
control slot after the data packet arrives at AP for inter-access point communication.
If the control packet is transmitted successfully, then and immediately after it, the user
transmits the corresponding data packet over one of the D data channels chosen at
random. On collision of either the control or data packet, the data packet is discarded.
The data packet is assumed to be L times larger than control packet. Based on the
total incident load on the backbone for inter access point communication per data

49
packet transmission time (30), the load on the control channel per control packet
transmission time is given by

GB (0) N Pout S0
GC (0) = = (32)
L B∗L

With N number of WLANs connected to backbone, the control channel throughput


for slotted-ALOHA MAC protocol with finite number of users is given by

GC (0) N −1
SC (0) = GC (0)[1 − ] (33)
N
N Pout S0 [1 − PB∗L
out S0 N −1
]
= (34)
B∗L

The Load on the data channel of backbone due to success in control channel per data
packet transmission time is

LSC (0) N Pout S0 [1 − PB∗L


out S0 N −1
]
GD (0) = = (35)
D D∗B

The throughput of a given data channel is then given by

SD (0) = GD (0).PD (0) (36)

Where PD (0) is defined as the probability of successful transmission of a given data


packet on a given data channel, which is given by [14],

SC (0) 2(L−1)
PD (0) = [1 − ] (37)
D

The total throughput of the backbone due to D number of data channel is,

50
SB (0) = DSD (0) (38)

Assuming all the successful packets from backbone will be equally distributed among
N number of WLANs (i.e. APs as shown in Fig. 17), the extra load coming to each
access point due to inter access point communication, from backbone is,

SB (0) ∗ B
GIN C = (39)
N

Where B accounts for the fact that backbone is B times faster than individual WLAN.
Hence the total load on New-DCF based WLAN will increase to

GT (1) = G0 + GIN C (40)

Pout S0 N −1 N Pout S0 Pout S0 N −1 2(L−1)


= G0 + Pout S0 [1 − ] [1 − ∗ [1 − ] ] (41)
B∗L D∗B∗L B∗L

The above increment of load GIN C in each WLAN will change the probability of
success PW LAN (0) (with GIN C = 0) to PW LAN (1) in (28). The increase in the total
load under each access point will lead to change in throughput from S0 to S1 . The
value of S1 is used in another iteration ((27)-(41)) to find out the next better estimate
of total load and probability of success in the WLAN as GT (2) and PW LAN (2)
respectively, and subsequently the next better estimate of S1 and S2 . Again this
process is repeated several times (say, n) till we get a reasonably stationary value of
WLAN throughput Sn , from which stationary values PW LAN (n), SB (n), PB (n) can
be found.

After the evaluation of WLAN throughput (i.e., Sn ), we further proceed to calculate


the end-to-end network success probability, measure from within an access point. For

51
this purpose consider a test packet originated in one of the access points. The test
packet to be successfully transmitted to a user under a different access point, the
packet has to be successful within the parent WLAN and then in the backbone and
at last in the destination WLAN. So, end-to-end success probability can be expressed
as,

PN W = P robability of successf ul transmission within the parent W LAN ∗


P robability of success in thebackbone ∗
P robability of success in the destination W LAN

= PW LAN (n) ∗ PB (n) ∗ PW LAN (n) (42)

PW LAN (n) and PB (n) represent the nth estimate of the probability of successful
transmission in the WLAN and backbone respectively when the network is stabilized
(after iterative process) for a given G0 , which is initially generated in each WLAN.

4.3 Simulation Results and Discussion

The analytical model presented in Section 4.2 presents the equations to evaluate the
end-to-end success probability, and WLAN as well as backbone throughput by an
iterative method. The results have been verified by simulation studies, which we
have done, using a Markov chain discrete time event model. We have considered Fre-
quency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) as the PHY layer in WLAN. The network
parameters considered are Packet size of 8584 bits including MAC and PHY header,
Propagation delay as 1 µs, slot time is 50 µs, DIFS is 128 µs and SIFS is 50 µs.

On the Optical backbone the channel bit rate is taken as 100 Mbps for easier evalua-
tion purpose and we have assumed WLAN speed as 10 times slower than backbone,
i.e., 10Mbps. We have simulated New-DCF MAC protocol for WLAN and Slotted-
ALOHA/ALOHA for backbone and studied the effect of number of APs (N ) and

52
probability of inter access point traffic (Pout ) on the WLAN and backbone through-
put in an end-to-end network topology. The probabilities (PW LAN (n), PB (n)) esti-
mated in simulation after n iterations, have been used to find the end-to-end success
probability PN W . In our simulation we have considered 10 users (M ) under each
WLAN and 10 WLANs (N ) interconnected by the optical backbone. And, we have
considered 10 data channels in WDM backbone with control packet size as 100 bits
and data packet, approximately 90 times (data packet 8584 bits) the control packet.

0.9

0.8

0.7
WLAN Throughput (S)

0.6

0.5

0.4 Pout=0.8
Pout=0.5
0.3 Pout=0.25

0.2

0.1

0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
Locally Originated WLAN Load(G0)
Figure 18: WLAN Throughput versus locally originated WLAN Load (G0 ) for
M =10, N =10 and D=10

Fig. 18 presents the plots of WLAN throughput S(n) versus G0 , with M = 10, and
Pout = 0.25, 0.5, and 0.8. The WLAN throughput shown on the Y-axis is the stabilized
throughput after n iterations, i.e., till the condition given in (31) is satisfied. The
locally originated WLAN load G0 is generated according to Poisson random arrival
process. It is found that by the use of New-DCF MAC protocol in WLAN, the
throughput increases as load increases and then stabilizes close to the value 0.8, as
load increases beyond 0.85 for 10 nodes. The increase in the inter-APs traffic leads to
increase in the traffic going into the APs from the backbone, which results in increase

53
0.9

0.8

0.7 Pout=0.8
Pout=0.5
Backbone Throughput

0.6 Pout=0.25

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
Locally Originated WLAN Load(G0)
Figure 19: Backbone Throughput (SB (n)) versus locally originated WLAN Load
(G0 ) with WDM using D=10 channels for N =10 access points

in the total load under a WLAN. But once either total load or locally originated load
is greater than 0.8, the throughput stabilizes to the saturation throughput value which
is the reason all the curves converge at the same value when load G0 or GT ≥ 0.85.
Hence, as shown in the graph the throughput increases as Pout value is increased, i.e.,
incase of Pout = 0.8 it will come to higher throughput faster than Pout = 0.25 and 0.5.

Fig. 19 presents the plots of WDM backbone throughput SB (n) versus G0 , with
N =10, D=10 and Pout = 0.25, 0.5, and 0.8. The plots show how the backbone
throughput SB (n) varies with G0 for different values of Pout . It is observed that as
the inter-WLAN traffic (Pout ) is increased, the backbone throughput increases initially
and attains a maximum and then decreases. But the parameters in Fig. 19 that we
considered don’t generate enough traffic to attain maximum backbone throughput.
For M =10 users in a WLAN, the maximum WLAN throughput that can be achieved,
irrespective of the increase in G0 beyond a certain value is shown in Fig. 18. This
determines the maximum inter-WLANs traffic that can be contributed by each access
point to the backbone. Also, since the bit rate of backbone is considered 10 times

54
faster than the WLAN bit rate, the maximum traffic that the backbone can handle
is far higher than the maximum that 10 WLANs can offer to the backbone.

Hence as shown in Fig. 19 the backbone throughput increases with G0 and then
stabilizes due to the constant traffic offered to the backbone after a certain value of G0
. And, for higher Pout , the backbone throughput will be high due to more incoming
traffic on the backbone. The maximum number of access points corresponding to
particular values of Pout that can be supported by the network topology shown in
Fig. 17 is determined in Fig. 20.

2
Backbone Saturation Throughput

1.5

0.5 Pout=0.8
Pout=0.5
Pout=0.25

0
0 200 400 600 800 1000
Number of WLANs
Figure 20: Backbone saturation throughput versus Number of WLANs with Number
of Channels D=10, and M =10 Users

Backbone saturation throughput is defined as the throughput obtained when the traf-
fic in the backbone, in a sense the traffic in the entire network, stabilizes immaterial
of the amount of locally generated load G0 under each access point. This depends on
the number of access points (N ) connected by the optical backbone, the probability
of inter-WLAN traffic (Pout ) and the number of data channels (D). As seen in Fig.
19 the saturation backbone throughput with 10 access points is 0.2, 0.38, 0.6 for Pout
values of 0.25, 0.5 and 0.8 respectively. Fig. 20 shows for a particular value of Pout

55
and D, the backbone saturation throughput for different number of WLANs. It is ob-
served that with inter arrival traffic probability of Pout = 0.25, the peak performance
can be obtained by employing 500 WLANs, which is 100 in case of Pout = 0.5 and
80 in case of Pout =0.8. The less the inter access point traffic, the more the number
of access points needed to get the best performance. Thus for the given network
topology shown in Fig. 17 with bit rates of 10Mbps WLAN and 100 Mbps backbone,
we have evaluated by simulation, the optimum number of access points needed for
the maximum utilization of the high speed backbone network.

Fig. 21 presents end-to-end success probability of a packet at WLAN load. The total
probability that the packet will be successfully transmitted from a node in one access
point (let say, AP1) to a node in AP2 is termed as end-to-end success probability
with respect to a single packet, given by 42.

0.9

0.8
End-to-End Success Probability

0.7

0.6

0.5

0.4 Pout=0.8
Pout=0.5
0.3 Pout=0.25

0.2

0.1

0
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
Locally Originated WLAN Load(G0)
Figure 21: End-to-End Success Probability (PN W ) versus Locally Originated WLAN
Load (G0 ) with N =10, D=10, M =10

It is observed that as G0 increases, the success probability decreases in WLAN because


in New-DCF with the increase in G0 the total number of packets generated will

56
increase while the total number of successful packets will remain same. Due to high-
speed optical backbone, the higher the Pout value the higher the traffic coming into
the backbone and hence higher the success probability.

4.4 Conclusion

In this presentation, a novel analytical and simulation approach is presented to deter-


mine the end-to-end success probability for hybrid network topology (Fig. 17). More-
over, it studies the effect of backbone traffic on WLAN and also backbone through-
put. The simulation results show that the performance is strongly dependent on the
probability of inter-WLAN communication (Pout ) and the number of access points
connected in the backbone. Higher the Pout values, higher are the throughputs of
WLAN and backbone. But, by the property of New-DCF mechanism, the through-
put in the WLAN saturates after a certain load, which results in constant traffic into
the backbone, thus making less utilization of the optical backbone as shown in Figs.
18 and 19. We have shown out by simulation, the optimum number of WLANs, which
will best utilize the optical backbone (Fig. 20). We have calculated the end-to-end
success probability with respect to locally originated load (G0 ) and Pout . The suc-
cess probability is high at low loads and gradually falls as the load increases because
the ratio of total number of successful packets to total number of packets generated
decreases due to saturation property of WLAN which results in constant number of
successful packets irrespective of the number of packets generated. Thus we have
evaluated and simulated the entire architecture and have shown that opting a WDM
backbone with WLAN would result in supporting a large number of WLANs without
degrading the performance, which is a need in large institutions or business organiza-
tions where the computing facility keeps growing in different departments or buildings
and so also the number of APs to share the distributed resources. In the next chapter
we extend the analysis to evaluate end-to-end delay of the network topology shown
in fig 17. We have considered both single wavelength and multiple wavelength optical
backbones. The average delay for different network configurations is presented.

57
CHAPTER V

DELAY EVALUATION OF HYBRID NETWORK


WITH WLANS INTERCONNECTED BY
OPTICAL BACKBONE

5.1 Introduction

In the previous chapter we have presented an analytical and simulation method to


evaluate the performance of hybrid network topology formed by interconnection of
WLANs by optical backbone. In this chapter, we present the effect of MAC protocols,
bit rate and inter access point traffic on the average delay in the backbone and in
WLAN. The optical backbone employs, either single wavelength or multiple wave-
length (WDM) transmission. Since each optical wavelength (channel) can support
higher bandwidth than a WLAN, we have considered the effect of speed factor ‘B’
(=ratio of per-channel optical data rate to WLAN data rate). We consider the data
rate of WLAN to be 10 Mbps. The original data rate defined by the IEEE 802.11b
standard is 11Mbps, but for easy evaluation we have taken it to be 10 Mbps. Let
D, be the number of data channels used in optical backbone which is equal to 1 for
single wavelength optical backbone. The MAC protocols employed are New-DCF for
WLAN and Slotted-ALOHA/ALOHA for control and data channels for WDM optical
backbone. In case of single wavelength backbone we have adopted slotted-ALOHA
MAC protocol [28]. We have considered four network configurations in this chapter.
They are as follows:

1. The bit rate of the backbone is 10 times the bit rate of WLAN (B=10) and
number of data channels is 10 i.e. WDM backbone (D=10).

58
2. The bit rate of the backbone is 10 times the bit rate of WLAN (B=10) and
number of data channels is 1 i.e. single wavelength backbone (D=1).

3. The bit rate of the backbone is equal to the bit rate of WLAN (B=1) and
number of data channels is 10 i.e. WDM backbone (D=10).

4. The bit rate of the backbone is equal to the bit rate of WLAN (B=1) and
number of data channels is 1 i.e. single backbone (D=10).

Economically it is costly to implement WDM in the optical backbone. The cost


increases with respect to the number of data channels used. Thus we analyze the de-
lay performance for both single wavelength and multiple wavelength backbone. The
throughput analysis of WDM optical backbone has been presented in the previous
chapter. The simulation model for delay evaluation is presented in the next section.
We present the simulation results in section 5.3 showing the throughput and delay
comparison graphs for hybrid topology (Fig. 17) with both single wavelength and
multiple wavelength optical backbones. It is observed from the results that the prob-
ability of success of multiple wavelength optical backbone with high bit rate is high
compared to multiple wavelength with low bit rate and single wavelength with high
bit rate. It is also observed that the probability of success of a packet for single
wavelength optical backbone with high bit rate is high compared to WDM optical
backbone with low bit rate, which implies that single wavelength with high bit rate
is preferable over multiple wavelength with low bit rate for medium sized network
configuration. Also, the average delay in the backbone and individual WLAN for all
the network configurations considered is presented in this chapter.

5.2 Simulation Model for Delay Evaluation

In the network topology under consideration Fig. 17, each WLAN constitutes an AP
and M number of nodes under it. And, N number of WLANs are interconnected
by the optical backbone employing either single wavelength or multiple wavelength
transmission. A user who wants to send a packet to another user with in the same

59
WLAN (i.e. under the same AP) or to a user under different AP, will first send a
packet to its AP. For intra access point traffic, the AP take the decision and routes
the packet to the appropriate user based on the destination address. As mentioned
in the previous chapter, for inter access point traffic, the optical backbone will carry
the packets from the source AP to the destination AP, from where the destination
AP will route the packet to the appropriate user.

It may be noted that the present topology under consideration has similar protocols
for single wavelength and WDM optical backbones, as considered in the previous
chapter. However, for the sake of clarity, we briefly describe the protocols in this case
as well. We have adopted slotted-ALOHA MAC protocol [28] for single wavelength
backbone, where in all the APs remain synchronized to the time slots generated by
one of the APs for slotted-ALOHA operation. An AP with a packet to transmit in
the backbone will wait for the beginning of the time slot and transmit the packet.
The collided packets are discarded. In the case of WDM backbone, we consider
PC-based MAC protocol [29]. Thus each transmitter first broadcasts (using slotted-
ALOHA protocol) a control packet on a specific wavelength (control channel, say λ0 )
to inform the destination AP about the wavelength on which it will transmit its data
packet. If the control packet is successful, then immediately the corresponding data
packet is transmitted on the data channel, which has already been intimated in the
prior control packet transmission. If collision occurs either in the control packet or in
the data packet, then AP discards the packet.

The New-DCF MAC protocol employed in the WLAN is explained in detail in chap-
ter 2. For the hybrid topology considered, we evaluated the average delay in the
individual WLAN and also in the optical backbone. The delay in both the WLAN
and optical backbone depends on the inter access point traffic i.e., traffic between the
APs through the backbone and intra access point traffic i.e., traffic within the AP. All
our simulations are carried out with probability of inter access point traffic Pout = 0.5.
Let Sn be the throughput of the WLAN after the entire network is stabilized which
is obtained after satisfying the condition given in eqn 31 i.e. after n iterations. That

60
means Pout Sn is the traffic that is being sent into the backbone from each of the AP.
If there are N access points, then the total load on the backbone is N Pout S0 . Thus,
the average delay in the backbone is computed by generating this traffic at the AP
using Poisson process. Average delay in the backbone is defined as the time at which
the data packet in the source AP is generated (time when it arrives in the AP queue)
till the time it is received by the destination AP. Average delay for high speed-WDM
backbone, low speed-WDM backbone, high speed-single wavelength backbone and
low speed-single wavelength is presented in the next section. We refer to high speed
as B=10 and low speed as B=1.

When the WLAN is considered individually, there are two types of traffic flowing
into the AP. The traffic from a user under an access point destined to other user
under the same access point, which we refer to intra access point traffic. And the
second traffic is the traffic from a user in one AP to an user in other AP. This load is
denoted by GIN C which is given by eqn. 39. Since we have evaluated delay once the
network is stabilized, the load coming to each access point due to inter access point
communication is given by

SB (n) ∗ B
GIN C = (43)
N

Where B accounts for the fact that backbone is B times faster than individual WLAN
and N is the number of access points. SB (n) is the backbone throughput after n
iterations when the network is stabilized. Hence the total load on New-DCF based
WLAN will increase to

GT (n) = G0 + GIN C (44)

G0 constitutes for intra access point traffic. Thus having fixed the Pout = 0.5, we have
generated the load in the WLAN using Poisson random arrival process. The load G0
is generated by the all the M users under the AP and GIN C is generated by the AP

61
depending on the data rate of the backbone. SB (n) can be known from Fig 19 for
WDM optical backbone and for single wavelength, the standard formula of slotted-
ALOHA with fixed number of APs is used to compute SB (n), following the same
iterative analysis given in chapter 4. The average delay in the individual WLAN, it is
independent of the delay encountered by a packet in the backbone and also we have
estimated the amount of traffic in each individual WLAN constituting both inter and
intra access point traffic. Thus, given the total traffic in the WLAN, the average
delay is the time it takes to successfully transmit the packet to the destination node.
Adding the delay in the backbone with twice the delay in WLAN gives average delay
for a data packet to be successfully transmitted from a user under one AP to a user
under different AP.

We present the simulation results and discussion in the next section. In the simu-
lation results, we first present end-to-end success probability of the hybrid topology
considered with both single wavelength and multiple wavelength (WDM) backbone.
The probability of success is given in the previous chapter in eqn. 42 We then present
the average delay in backbone with respect to the number of access points. This
gives an idea of the number of access points that the backbone can support if one is
looking for acceptable delay performance. Then we present the average delay in the
backbone and individual WLANs with respect to the locally generated load G0 . The
graphs give a clear picture to design architect to decide whether to go for high speed
or low speed backbone and also single wavelength or WDM backbone transmission.

5.3 Simulation Results

Fig. 22 shows the graph between probability of success of a packet in the optical
backbone with respect to number of access points for locally originated WLAN load
G0 =1. The probability of success is defined as the fraction of packets successfully
transmitted out of the total number of packets generated over a certain interval
of time. The load under each access point is considered to be greater than 1 i.e.
saturation load, which according to Fig. 22 is the load beyond which the throughput

62
1

Backbone Success Probability 0.8

B=10, D=10
B=10, D=1
0.6 B=1, D=10
B=1, D=1

0.4

0.2

0
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
Number of Access Points
Figure 22: Backbone Success Probability versus Number of Access Points for (G0 )=1
with M =10

of WLAN is saturated and is constant. Under saturation conditions, as the number


of access points increases, the load offered to the backbone increases. The optical
backbone with bit rate 10 times that of WLAN and 10 channels (WDM) gives higher
probability of success as compared to optical backbone both with same bit rate as
WLAN and 10 Channels and, 10 times the bit rate and single channel. It can also
be noted that with B=10, D=1 configuration, the probability of success is higher
compared to B=1, D=10 optical backbone configuration. So, as a matter of design
issue, if average probability of success is sufficient then single wavelength Optical
backbone with 10 times the bit rate of WLAN is preferable compared to multiple
wavelength Optical backbone with same bit rate of WLAN, also taking into account
the fact that single wavelength optical backbone is more economical than WDM
backbone. But huge number of access points with high probability of success can be
achieved with the multiple wavelength Optical backbone and 10 times the bit rate of
WLAN.

63
100

Average Delay-Backbone (sec)


10
B=10, D=10
B=10, D=1
B=1, D=10
B=1, D=1
1

0.1

0.01
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
No. of Access Points
Figure 23: Average Delay in Backbone vs. No. of Access points for G0 =1

Fig. 23 shows the graph between Average Delay in the backbone with respect to num-
ber of access points interconnected by optical backbone for locally originated WLAN
load G0 =1. Average delay is defined as the average time difference between the times
a packet is generated in the node until it is successfully received by the destination
node. As the graph reveals, higher the bit rate i.e. B=10, lesser the average delay
because the packet transmission time decreases on increasing the backbone speed.
It is also observed that multiple wavelength backbone (WDM) with lower bit rate
i.e., B=1 gives less delay compared to single wavelength backbone with same bit rate
which is based on the fact that single wavelength backbone performance degrades as
the load on the network increases.

The delay in WLAN is strongly impacted by the amount of traffic coming into the
WLAN from the optical backbone i.e. inter access point traffic. As shown in Fig.
24, the average delay in case of high bit rate and multiple wavelength backbone is
highest because of large amount of traffic coming into the WLAN from the backbone.
The average delay in case of low bit rate and single wavelength backbone is lowest
because of negligible traffic that is coming into the WLAN from the backbone. But

64
100

Average Delay-WLAN (msec)


10

1
B=10, D=10
B=10, D=1
B=1, D=10
B=1, D=1
0.1

0.01
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
Locally Originated WLAN Load(G)
Figure 24: Delay in WLAN vs. Locally Originated WLAN load G0 with Pout =0.5

according to Fig . 11, the throughput of WLAN is saturated and remains stable as the
load G0 is increased beyond 1. So, the amount of traffic coming into the WLAN will
remain constant under saturated conditions and the average delay will be completely
determined by the traffic within the WLAN.

The Fig. 25 is similar to Fig. 22 but is with respect to the locally originated WLAN
load (G0 ). As the load increases, the traffic onto the backbone from the WLAN
increases. Therefore, the average delay in case of low bit rate and single wavelength
backbone will be highest and will be lowest in case of high bit rate and multiple
wavelength backbone. The probability of inter access point traffic is assumed to be
0.5.

5.4 Conclusion

The impact of network parameters like bit rate, single or multiple wavelength back-
bone and inter access point traffic on the average delay is shown in the simulated

65
100

B=10, D=10
Average Delay-Backbone (msec) B=10, D=1
B=1, D=10
10 B=1, D=1

0.1

0.01
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
Locally Originated WLAN Load(G)
Figure 25: Delay in backbone vs. Locally Originated WLAN load G0 with Pout =0.5

results. We have extended the previous chapter iterative model to evaluate the aver-
age delay in the backbone and individual WLAN. The results indicate, as expected
that WDM backbones offer significantly less delay as compared to an optical back-
bone employing single wavelength transmission. However, it is interesting to observe
that probability of success of a packet in the network topology with single wavelength
optical backbone and high bit rate is high compared to WDM optical backbone with
low bit rate, which implies that single wavelength with high bit rate is preferable over
multiple wavelength with low bit rate for medium sized network configuration and
also in cases where WDM implementation is economically not feasible.

66
CHAPTER VI

CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK

This dissertation embodies the results of our studies carried out on MAC protocols in
WLAN and optical backbone. In this chapter we conclude our work with the major
observations from the results of our investigations, and discuss some of the related
problems for future research.

In chapter 2, we have proposed a New-DCF MAC protocol for IEEE 802.11 WLAN.
We have presented an analytical model as well as simulation results. IEEE 802.11b
standard employs Standard-DCF mechanism which is based on Carrier Sense Multiple
Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA). There have been several studies that
has been done on the MAC protocol of WLAN but none is able to solve some of
the important issues in Standard-DCF. New-DCF MAC addresses these issues and
provides throughput equal to the theoretical maximum. Also, it adds more fairness
to the users. The New-DCF MAC protocol introduces determinism in the backoff
mechanism at high loads, there by decreasing the number of collisions, which results
in high and stable throughput.

The discrete Markov chain model presented in chapter 2 to evaluate the throughput
of New-DCF is extended to analyze the delay performance of the New-DCF MAC
protocol in chapter 3. The average delay using New-DCF MAC protocol is much less
compared to delay in Standard-DCF at high loads i.e. offered load G0 > 0.4. It is
also observed that at low loads, the average delay in WLAN employing New-DCF
is higher when compared to WLAN employing Standard-DCF, which is due to more
idle time in case of the New-DCF backoff mechanism.

In chapters 4 and 5, we discuss the performance analysis of hybrid network formed by


interconnection of WLANs by optical backbone as shown in fig 17. A novel iterative

67
model has been presented to evaluate the throughputs of individual WLANs and
backbone as well as end-to-end success probability of the hybrid network architecture.
The analytical model takes into account the effect of both intra access point traffic
and inter access point traffic which is determined by the parameter Pout defined to
be the probability of inter access point communication. The WLAN employs New-
DCF MAC protocol proposed in chapter 2. Higher the Pout values, higher are the
throughputs of WLAN and backbone up to certain loads. With the increase in the
number of access points, the traffic into the backbone increases and by virtue of
the property of slotted-ALOHA/ALOHA MAC protocols used for control and data
channels respectively in the WDM optical backbone, the throughput and thus the
probability of success increases initially, reaches a maximum and then decreases. We
have presented in fig. 20, the number of access points that are needed to achieve the
maximum probability of success in the network topology. Also, the throughput in
individual WLAN and WDM optical backbone are presented with respect to offered
load in WLAN for different Pout values.

The chapter 5 considers optical backbone with both single wavelength and WDM
transmission. We have evaluated the average delay in four different hybrid network
configurations which differ in the speed and transmission used in optical backbone.
They are 1. High speed and single wavelength optical backbone 2. Low speed and
single wavelength optical backbone 3. High speed and multiple wavelength (WDM)
optical backbone 4.Low speed and multiple wavelength (WDM) optical backbone.
The simulation results showing the average delay in individual WLAN and optical
backbone for all the 4 configurations considered are presented in chapter 5. It is shown
that WDM backbones offer significantly less delay as compared to an optical backbone
employing single wavelength transmission. However, it is interesting to observe that
probability of success of a packet in the network topology with single wavelength and
high speed optical backbone is high compared to WDM optical backbone with low
speed, which implies that single wavelength with high speed is preferable over multiple
wavelength with low speed if one looks at reducing cost by avoiding implementing
WDM backbone.

68
Several potential problems related to the present studies can be addressed in future.
It may be recalled that in chapters 2 and 3, we studied the performance of New-DCF
MAC-protocol IEEE 802.11 WLAN. We have assumed throughout the analysis and
simulation that data frame size is fixed. This assumptions helps us to determine the
waiting time for each node if the channel is busy which is proportional to the packet
transmission time. But, if one considers a variable packet sizes, which mean different
packet transmission times, then it is challenging task to determine the waiting time for
each node. Performance analysis of New-DCF with variable packet sizes is one of the
future work that we are considering. Also, recently lot of studies are being conducted
in the new IEEE standard 802.11e which promises Quality of Service (QoS). It is
of interest to extend the deterministic property of New-DCF into the IEEE 802.11e
standard and check the performance at high loads as New-DCF ensure less collisions,
stable and high throughput at high loads.

The hybrid network topology considered in chapter 4 and 5 employs the New-DCF
MAC protocol for WLAN and slotted-ALOHA/ALOHA MAC protocols for WDM
optical backbone. We have presented a novel iterative model to evaluate the through-
put of WLAN and optical backbone. In future we intend to present a similar model
to evaluate end-to-end delay in the hybrid network. Also, the performance analysis
of the hybrid network with the inclusion of Quality of Service is one of the future
areas that needs careful study.

69
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