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Aggregation With Fragment Re Transmission for Very High-Speed WLAN

Aggregation With Fragment Re Transmission for Very High-Speed WLAN

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Aggregation with Fragment Retransmission for Very High-Speed WLANs
Tianji Li, Qiang Ni, Member, IEEE, David Malone, Douglas Leith, Member, IEEE, Yang Xiao, Senior Member, IEEE and Thierry Turletti, Member, IEEE

Abstract— In upcoming very high-speed WLANs the physical layer (PHY) rate may reach 600 Mbps. To achieve high efficiency at the medium access control (MAC) layer, we identify fundamental properties that must be satisfied by any CSMA/CA based MAC layer and develop a novel scheme called Aggregation with Fragment Retransmission (AFR). In the AFR scheme, multiple packets are aggregated into and transmitted in a single large frame. If errors happen during the transmission, only the corrupted fragments of the large frame are retransmitted. An analytic model is developed to evaluate the throughput and delay performance of AFR over a noisy channel, and to compare AFR with competing schemes in the literature. Optimal frame and fragment sizes are calculated using this model. Transmission delays are minimised by using a zero-waiting mechanism where frames are transmitted immediately once the MAC wins a transmission opportunity. We prove that zerowaiting can achieve maximum throughput. As a complement to the theoretical analysis, we investigate by simulations the impact of AFR on the performance of realistic application traffic with diverse requirements. We have implemented the AFR scheme in the NS-2 simulator and present detailed results for TCP, VoIP and HDTV traffic. The AFR scheme described was developed as part of the 802.11n working group work. The analysis presented here is general enough to be extended to the proposed scheme in the upcoming 802.11n standard. Trends indicated by our simulation results should extend to any well-designed aggregation scheme. Index Terms— Medium access control (MAC), Wireless LAN (WLAN), IEEE 802.11, IEEE 802.11n.

I. I NTRODUCTION Wireless LANs based on 802.11 technology are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. With the aim of supporting rich multimedia applications such as high-definition television (HDTV, 20Mbps) and DVD (9.8Mbps), the technology trend is towards increasingly higher bandwidths. Some recent 802.11n proposals seek to support PHY rates of up to 600 Mbps ([4], [6], [7], [40]). However, higher PHY rates do not necessarily translate into corresponding increases in MAC layer throughput. Indeed, it is well known that the MAC efficiency of 802.11 typically decreases with increasing PHY rate [9], [41]. The reason is that while increasing PHY rates lead to faster transmission
Tianji Li, David Malone and Douglas Leith are with the Hamilton Institute, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland (Email: {tianji.li, david.malone, doug.leith}@nuim.ie). Qiang Ni is with the School of Engineering & Design, Brunel University, UK (Email: qiang.ni@brunel.ac.uk). Part of his work was done while he was with the Hamilton Institute. Yang Xiao is with the Department of Computer Science, University of Alabama, USA (Email: yangxiao@ieee.org). ` Thierry Turletti is with the PLANETE Project, INRIA Sophia Antipolis, France (E-mail: thierry.turletti@sophia.inria.fr).

of the MAC frame payload, overhead such as PHY headers and contention time typically do not decrease at the same rate and thus begin to dominate frame transmission times. This behaviour is illustrated in Figure 1, where it can be seen that even under best case conditions the MAC efficiency falls from 42% at a PHY rate of 54Mbps to only 10% at 432Mbps. The problem here is a fundamental one for MAC design, namely that due to cross-layer interactions the throughput of the current 802.11 MAC does not scale well with increasing PHY rates. With continuing improvements in PHY technology and demand for higher throughput, the MAC scaling behaviour is of key importance. While the current focus of 802.11n activity is on achieving 100Mbps throughput at the MAC layer, still higher target data rates can be expected in the future. To avoid repeated MAC redesigns, one basic question that we seek to answer is whether it is feasible to extend the 802.11 MAC to maintain high throughput efficiency regardless of PHY rates. We answer this in the affirmative. In particular, we identify fundamental properties that must be satisfied by any CSMA/CA based MAC layer and develop a novel scheme called Aggregation with Fragment Retransmission (AFR) that exhibits these properties. In the AFR scheme, multiple packets are aggregated into and transmitted in a single large frame1 . If errors occur during transmission, only the corrupted fragments of the frame are retransmitted. In this scheme, a new delimitation mechanism allows for higher throughput with less overhead compared to previous designs. We study a fragmentation technique where packets longer than a threshold are divided into fragments before being aggregated. An analytic model is developed to evaluate the throughput and delay of AFR over noisy channels, and to compare AFR with competing schemes. Optimal frame and fragment sizes are calculated using this model, and an algorithm for dividing packets into near-optimal fragments is designed. A second question we seek to answer is whether higher transmission delays are an unavoidable result of using aggregation to achieve high throughput. In particular, is additional delay necessarily introduced (i) by the need to wait until sufficient packets arrive to allow a large frame to be formed and (ii) for transmission of a large frame? We answer this question in the negative. Specifically, we propose a zerowaiting mechanism where frames are transmitted immediately once the MAC wins a transmission opportunity. In a zero1 We define a packet as what MAC receives from the upper layer, a frame as what MAC transfers to the PHY layer, and a fragment as part(s) of a frame.

the efficiency decreases to around 10%. the duration of the PHY header is not expected to decrease with increasing PHY rate owing to backward compatibility and PHY-layer channel equalisation requirements [4]. As the PHY rate increases. 6). therefore improving efficiency. When PHY data-rate increases to 432Mbps. bT EIF S = Tack waiting aggregation scheme. [41]) schemes have been proposed in the literature for improving efficiency. In order to clarify the impact caused by the overhead. and introduce in Section IV the AFR scheme. Note that we define Tack in this way for notation brevity. AFR is particularly effective for rich multimedia services with high data rates and large packet sizes. mac PHY header. 1(a) the efficiency in the ideal case where the channel is perfect with neither collisions nor errors [41]. Section II details the motivation of this work. It can be seen that the efficiency decreases dramatically as the PHY rate increases. p which we can consider as additional time Toh .11n [4] for the future WLANs. the time to transmit a frame quickly becomes dominated by the fixed overheads associated with the PHY header. the contention time TCW does not decrease towards zero due to the constraints placed on the minimum slot size by clock synchronisation requirements and on DIFS by the need for backward compatibility. the frame sizes adapt automatically to the PHY rate and channel state. in very high-speed networks. VoIP and HDTV traffic. For example. and Toh = Thdr + Thdr + TCW + Tack as just explained above. [3]. B. so the packet size and the payload size of one frame are the same. In 802. However. We implemented the AFR scheme in the network simulator NS-2 and present detailed results for TCP. the time Thdr to transmit the MAC header. for a fixed packet size Lp the time Tp = Lp /R to transmit the p packet payload decreases. and the time Tack to transmit a MAC ACK (Notation is listed in Table I). In both schemes. Finally we summarise our conclusions in Section VIII. 6 for details). the frame payload). the per packet overhead is approximately p phy mac Toh = Thdr +Thdr +TCW /M +Tack . the efficiency is only about 20%. It can be seen that the contention overhead TCW and MAC ACK overhead Tack are amortized over multiple packets by these two schemes. Results suggest that AFR is a promising MAC technique for very high-speed WLANs..g. which is a key application in future WLANs. we define MAC throughput efficiency as: η= Tp p Tp + Toh (1) phy pld pld aT ack = TSIF S + Thdr + Tack + TDIF S .g. while Block ACK goes one step further by using a single ACK frame for multiple data frames (Fig. As the PHY rate R increases. DCF and Its Inefficiency Transmission of a frame inevitably carries an overhead2.e. According to the proposal 802. it is likely to take at least 44µs to transmit a PHY header (and 48µs 2 . Burst ACK performs the backoff process once for a series of data and ACK frames (See Fig. hence the overhead of the backoff process is minimised. the backoff time TCW is incurred once for M packet transmissions. where Tp is the time required to physically transmit a packet p phy mac (i.11 phy the overhead includes the time Thdr required to transmit the 2 In the DCF scheme. phy However. thus reducing the number of ACKs and SIFS. [36] [33] and [32]) and Block ACK (e. We identify in Section III the fundamental properties that must be satisfied by any aggregation scheme. where Tack denotes the time duration to transmit an ACK frame. A theoretical analysis is given in Section V while Section VI presents detailed simulation results. In a 216Mbps WLAN. If Toh does not also decrease then the efficiency η → 0 as R → ∞. contention time etc. M OTIVATION A. II. Much work has been done to minimise the contention time component of the overhead by regulating the randomized backoff process (e. thereby maximising the throughput efficiency while minimising the holding delay. the per packet PHY header overhead Thdr and the mac MAC header overhead Thdr are left untouched.. where M is the size of a packet burst. we illustrate in Fig.g.. Moreover. Similarly. With Burst ACK. the CSMA/CA backoff time TCW .11n usage model [8]. Thus as the PHY rate is increased.n M m m TCW TSIF S TDIF S Tack TEIF S phy Thdr mac Thdr f rag Thdr Tp Tf p Toh f Toh δ σ Lf Lp Lf rag L1 Lmac hdr Lf rag hdr LF CS Number of STAs Number of packets in a frame Number of fragments in a frame Number of fragments in a packet Contention time Time duration of SIFS Time duration of DIFS Overhead for transmitting an ACK framea Time duration of EIFSb Time duration to transmit the PHY headers of one frame Time duration to transmit the MAC headers of one frame Time duration to transmit the fragment headers of one frame Time duration to transmit one packet Time duration to transmit payload of one frame Overhead for transmitting one packet Overhead for transmitting payload of one frame Propagation delay PHY layer time slot Payload size in one frame (bytes) Packet size (bytes) Fragment size (bytes) Fragment header size (bytes) Aggregate size of all MAC headers in one frame (bytes) Aggregate size of all fragment headers in one frame (bytes) FCS size (bytes) TABLE I N OTATION USED IN THIS PAPER . we investigate by simulations the impact of AFR on the performance of realistic applications with diverse demands – for this we followed the 802. [13] [42] [31]) to reduce the number of collisions and idle slots. there is only one packet in each frame. Burst ACK and Block ACK The Burst ACK (e. the MAC throughput efficiency is still intolerable even without these problems. The remainder of the paper is organized as follows. while for Block ACK it p phy mac is Toh = Thdr +Thdr +TCW /M +Tack /M .. Thirdly.

This is a key motivation of the work presented here. For comparison. and has to continue decoding even if the BER exceeds some previously unacceptable value. another at PHY) aggregation scheme is proposed that uses a similar delimiter to that in the TGn Sync proposal [4]. The present paper substantially extends this previous work. voice. a small PHY header (12µs) is used to identify each packet within a frame. we note that in traditional retransmission schemes a whole frame is retransmitted even if only one bit is lost. the transmission duration of a 1024-byte frame at a PHY rate of 216Mbs is 40µs. and introduce the zero-waiting approach to aggregation. BER ≥ 10−5 ). Other related work includes that of Ji et al. (b) Large frames transmission in DCF where PHY rate is 54 Mbps. the damaged packets are retransmitted.11n standard. Throughput Efficiency The basic requirement for high efficiency is to aggregate packets into large frames so as to spread the cost of fixed . [21] where an aggregation technique is used to solve an unfairness problem in WLANs. This is achieved by transmitting multiple packets in a single large frame. (c) MAC and PHY parameters used. 3 there are other activities in the 802.g.100 Packet size: 1024 bytes 45 DCF BER = 10−4 DCF BER = 10−5 DCF BER = 10−6 Saturation throughput (Mbps) 90 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 MAC efficiency (%) 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 54 108 162 216 270 324 378 432 TSIF S (µs) Idle slot duration (σ) (µs) TDIF S (µs) phy Thdr (µs) CWmin Propagation delay (µs) Symbol delay (µs) Retry limit 65536 262144 16 9 34 20 16 1 4 4 PHY rate (Mbps) 0 256 512 1024 2048 4096 8192 16384 Packet size (bytes) (a) MAC inefficiency in ideal case (b) DCF with very large packets (c) Parameters Fig. e. If not. the throughput can fall as larger frames are used [23]. C. SIFS and backoffs before a series of packets.g. III. the throughput efficiency rapidly decreases and efforts to increase the system capacity purely by increasing the data rate are thus of limited effectiveness even when Burst ACK or Block ACK are employed. However. F UNDAMENTAL C ONSIDERATIONS We highlight in this section the basic requirements that must be respected by any aggregation scheme that seeks to maintain high throughput efficiency as PHY rates increase.11n standard working group on this topic (e. see Section II-D. This raises the question of whether it is possible to retransmit only the erroneous part(s) of a frame – if properly designed. [6]. transmitting the packets together in a large PHY layer frame. If the packets from the upper layer are large and arrive rapidly. when two antenna radios are used [4]). then aggregation is simple. We address these open questions in this paper. this raises questions as to the optimal policy for aggregating packets into frames. such partial retransmission could be expected to improve performance. A. with a special delimiter for locating each fragment in a frame. The y-axis represents the ratio of the ideal throughput to the PHY rate. In parallel with our work. D. In [5]. These support similar functionalities to our scheme. there is a traditional dislike for transmitting large frames in wireless networks since in a noisy channel (e. The PHY layer has to transmit very large frames. should an error occur. Open Questions Although aggregation is not a new idea. [7]). Under these conditions. suggest removing the DIFS. Moreover. [25] we proposed to aggregate multiple packets into a single large frame and. [4]. From the MAC viewpoint. a two-level (one at MAC. 1.. 1(b).g.. the time to transmit a frame quickly becomes dominated by PHY headers. In [17]. Ji et al. for example how long should the MAC wait for sufficient packets to arrive to form a large frame. We illustrate this in Fig. and at 432Mbs is 20µs. many fundamental questions remain open: • How do we aggregate packets? The frames we want are larger than a typical packet. However. since real traffic is typically bursty/on-off in nature. The x-axis represents the PHY data rate. video and data traffic. • How does packet aggregation impact application traffic. Our previous work on aggregation schemes resulted in a proposal for the forthcoming IEEE 802. how long do we wait to maximise throughput while minimising delay? • What is an appropriate transmission and retransmission unit? Should very large packets be divided for retransmission? • A suitable analysis of aggregation throughput and delay performance is missing. should a timing mechanism be used to wait for sufficient packets to arrive to form a large frame? If so. From the PHY viewpoint. any retransmission scheme carries an associated signalling overhead and hence a trade-off exists between system efficiency and the granularity of retransmission. Aggregation Schemes Aggregation schemes seek to amortize the PHY header overhead across multiple packets. (a) Legacy DCF efficiency in the ideal case with a 1024-byte frame size. However. Although this idea seems simple at first glance. the traditional small-packet rule does not hold any more. As the PHY rate is increased. it is actually a radical challenge for PHY and MAC technology. the size of the largest practical frame is still unknown [4].

the per packet throughput efficiency is p Toh = and it is straightforward to show that the maximum achievable efficiency ηmax = ηp and the maximum throughput Smax = ˜ R/(1 + d). Evidently.. Thdr . However. we thus have m = m bR when f rag M = bR. During the time Tf + a + d · Tf to transmit a frame. One approach is then to consider waiting at the MAC until sufficient packets arrive to form the desired size of frame. we have therefore small m and large r. we study in Section V-D a fragmentation technique where packets with sizes exceeding a threshold are divided into fragments to deal with the tradeoff between m and r.. However. That is. When the per packet overhead satisfy these conditions. where Lp is the packet size and R is the PHY rate. we have that. m = m M where m is the number of fragments per packet. We first characterise the maximum achievable efficiency and the maximum throughput that any aggregation MAC scheme can support. B. in which case Thdr /M = mL1 /R = m L1 /R. we have that. i. Fragments are the unit used in the retransmission logic. it is also common for packets to arrive more slowly or in bursts (e. we require that: • The number of packets M in a frame should be proportional to R. Selecting the frame size to be the same as queue size q(k). we have that the queue dynamics are stable. E[Lf ] = E[q] = 3 The where d = (rm L1 )/Lp . it is straightforward for the MAC layer to assemble these into large frames. • Since there is only one MAC header and one ACK per frame. observe that the efficiency is nicely decoupled from the PHY rate R. • For a given fragment size Lf rag .e. we can typically decompose it into the following elements (where r denotes the number of transmissions before all fragments from this packet are transmitted successfully. when a packet is divided into many small fragments. . packets from a VoIP stream. On the other hand. such a policy minimises holding delay at the MAC layer.. i. with packets that exceed the fragment size being divided. ν · [Tf + a + d · Tf ] ν · [(1 + d)E[q(k)]/R + a] α·a·R = α · E[q(k)] + 1+d These queue dynamics can be written as t ηp = Lp Lp + r(a/b + m · L1 ) (4) E[q(k + 1)] = = where L1 denotes the size of one fragment header and a = phy mac Thdr + Thdr + TCW + Tack . fundamentally there is no need to wait for packets to accumulate and it is sufficient instead to simply start a transmission whenever the MAC wins a transmission opportunity. Considering Toh in more detail. In this case a frame is formed by aggregating the currently queued packets. the efficiency is fundamentally limited by the per packet fragment overhead m and the retransmission time r. Tack and TCW translate into a per packet overhead that scales with R. corresponding to use of a large m . we require that the per p p packet overhead Toh also scales with 1/R. Assuming that there are no collisions and errors in the network3.e. In particular. Let the mean arrival rate of the offered load be ν = αSmax = αR/(1 + d) bits per second. To achieve high efficiency. it turns out that when the scaling conditions in Section III are satisfied. as we increase the factor b. we can see that the efficiency asymptotically tends to ηp ˜ = Lp 1 = Lp + r · m · L1 1+d (5) (7) E[q(k + t)] = αt E[q(k)] + i=1 αi−1 · α·a·R 1+d Hence. In order to maintain throughput efficiency ηp . on average we expect ν · (Tf + a + d · Tf ) arrivals at the queue. Hence. the probability of a fragment being corrupted is low and we have large m but small r. the per packet throughput efficiency is ηp = Tp Lp /R p = p Tp + Toh Lp /R + Toh (2) to a small m . Hence. video traffic. To reduce the overhead associated with transmission errors. The time to transmit a packet is Tp = Lp /R.g. i. We show that this opportunistic aggregation policy also maximises network throughput where feasible. corresponding to r = 1. Firstly. for Thdr /M to scale with 1/R the rate at which fragment headers are transmitted must be f rag chosen proportional to R. we can write the per frame throughput efficiency as ηf = Tf 1 = Tf + a + d · Tf 1 + d + a/Tf (6) We can see that Tp = Lp /R scales with 1/R. Zero-waiting When packets are large and arrive rapidly from the upper layer. corresponding 4 α·a·R (1 − α)(1 + d) (8) proof for more complicated cases is left as further work.e. The same is not true for fragment headers. This phy mac ensures that the overhead Thdr . damaged fragments are retransmitted rather than the entire frame. provided α < 1 then as t → ∞. such large fragments are more likely to be corrupted. Secondly. if we use a large fragment size. the throughput scales with R. that is M = bR for some constant b.overheads across multiple packets. Asymptotically.. and other notation is listed in Table I): phy f rag mac (Thdr + Thdr + Thdr + TCW + Tack ) · r (3) M p To ensure that Toh scales with 1/R. each frame is sub-divided into fragments. the number of fragments in a frame m increases with the number of packets M in a frame. web traffic etc). when M is proportional to R there is no fundamental constraint on the rate at which MAC headers and ACK frames are transmitted.

After receiving the frame.. The frame size used thus adapts to the minimum required to service the offered load. 2) Fairness: AFR strictly follows the basic principle of the CSMA/CA.. we derive that α ηf = = α · ηmax 1+d As α → 1. Interested readers can refer to [16]. The frame body consists of fragment-headers. The new ACK format is simple. offset is used to record the position of this fragment in packet P. The fragment number represents the number of fragments in the current MAC frame. Then AFR divides pkt1 and pkt2 into 3 and 1 fragments respectively and put them into the sending queue. Comments 1) Frame/Fragment Size: Selection of the maximum frame size and of the near-optimal fragment size is discussed in Section V-C and V-D. 3). we give an example below... In our scheme. A frame with fragment size of 512 bytes and fragment number of 4 is constructed. a queue backlog will develop which in turn induces larger frames and increased efficiency. II. B. Suppose there are two packets (pkt1 and pkt2 ) with lengths of Lp1 = 1025 bytes and Lp2 = 40 bytes. the frame size Lf scales with R. 14 bits 14 bits 2 1 4 bits 1 Packet Packet Start offset spare FCS ID length Pos Packet Packet Start offset spare FCS ID length Pos (c) Fragment headers Fig. The fragment-header section of the frame body has a variable size. for a given level of load α. startPos is used to indicate the position of the fragment body in this frame and 5 38 MAC header Frame header 8 .e.. fragment fragment fragment fragment 1 2 3 4 packet ID 1 1 1 2 packet length 1025 1025 1025 40 TABLE II StartPos 0 512 1024 1025 offset 0 1 2 0 A N EXAMPLE USAGE OF THE AFR FRAME FORMATS . Second. ACK format in the AFR scheme. To clarify the usage of the new formats.. α is small) small frames will be used.. Data format in the AFR scheme. the frame size also adapts automatically to changing PHY rate R. 3. thus it can locate all the fragments in the frame even if some of them are corrupted during the transmission. 2(a)). the receiver operates as shown in Algorithm 1 to recover the fragments. fragment number and a spare field. we describe in detail the AFR scheme based on the insight provided by the foregoing analysis. 2 64 . 2(b) and (c)). The spare field is left for future extension and maintaining alignment. we do not restrict ourselves to the fragmentation algorithm introduced in Section V-D. larger frame sizes will be automatically used. For the receiver. 2048 64 . When the current level of efficiency is too low for the offered load. we can see that the zero waiting policy achieves the maximum efficiency. therefore the same fairness characteristics holds as in the legacy DCF. with a multi-rate enabled wireless card. fragment bodies and the corresponding Frame Check Sequences (FCS) (See Fig. From equation (8).. The frame length is Lf = 2048 bytes and the fragment length is Lf rag = 512 bytes4 . packet length (pLEN). and we add three fields — fragment size. IV... . it knows where the first fragment header starts from and what the fragment header size is. Techniques to improve DCF’s fairness are all suitable for AFR. As the load increases. 2048 2 64 . 2. new data and ACK frame formats are a primary concern in developing a practical AFR scheme. zero-waiting elegantly creates a feedback loop whereby throughput efficiency is regulated based on queue backlog. all the fields of the DCF MAC header remain unchanged. Therefore. when the offered load is light (i. each of which is protected by a FCS. Each fragment header is composed of six fields: packet ID (pID). startPos. AFR Implementation Clearly. we add a 32-byte bitmap in the legacy ACK format. Difficulties for new formats include (i) respecting the constraints on overhead noted previously and (ii) ensuring that in an erroneous transmission the receiver is able to retrieve the correctly transmitted fragments – this is not straightforward because the sizes of the corrupted fragments may be unknown to the receiver. we can see two important features of zero-waiting: First. 2048 2 Fragment headers Fragment 1 FCS FCS Fragment N FCS Frame body (a) Data frame format 2 2 6 6 6 2 6 2 1 1 4 Frame Duration Address Address Address Sequence Address Fragment Fragment Spare FCS control /ID 1 2 3 Control 4 size number (b) MAC header 14 bits 14 bits 2 1 4 bits 1 . 4 To show that AFR can support arbitrary sizes of fragmentation. Thus. pID and pLEN represent the corresponding ID and length of the packet P to which this fragment belongs. [34] and [19]. T HE AFR S CHEME In this section. spare and FCS.. It includes from 1 to 256 fragment headers.. a MAC frame consists of a frame header and a frame body (Fig.Combining Equation (6) and (8). 2 Frame control 2 Duration 6 Receiver address 32 Fragment bitmap 4 FCS ACK frame format Fig. Each bit of the bitmap is used to indicate the correctness of a fragment (See Fig. 2048 . The corresponding fragment headers are shown in Table.. In the new MAC header. The fragment size represents the size of fragment used in the MAC frames.. The length of each fragment header is constant (8 bytes) and known to both the sender and the receiver. A.. offset.

In this case if the contention window is reset after an erroneous transmission. To do this. a simple extension of AFR is required. S = E[Tf] . 19: else 20: discard this frame and defer an EIFS before next transmission. 17: update the receiving queue according to the ACK bitmap. As a consequence less efficiency is expected compared to one-to-one aggregation. before which a sub-physical header is added for negotiating a suitable rate. but this seems unavoidable and the approach proposed here carries only a small overhead compared to other solutions in the literature [17]. We note that Bianchi 5 Recall that in the AFR scheme we consider frames that are partially corrupted by channel noise as successful transmissions (12) (13) n τ (1 − τ )n−1 . where PI . our frame format can be easily extended to support multiple destinations by inserting a destination address field in each fragment header. There are two issues to be addressed if multi-rate is to be supported in AFR: (i) Should we change the frame size with the PHY rate? (ii) Should we support one-to-many aggregation where receivers have different channel states? The first issue has been discussed in Section III-B. whenever the MAC layer needs a frame to transmit. we combine packets for the same destination into a group. a commonly used technique to resist channel noise is to lower the PHY rate after measuring a high packet (or bit) error rate. However. • (9) 3) Multiple destinations: Thus far. V. thus pf = pc and the Bianchi’s formula could in fact be applied without change. 8: else 9: fragment i’s length = fragment size.1 do 3: if Fragment i’s header is correct then 4: if packet length < fragment size then 5: fragment i’s length = pLEN. Specifically. Let τ denote the STA transmission probability and n the number of STAs in the system. 13: end if 14: record correctness (including fragment header and fragment body) of the fragments in a data structure called the ACK bitmap. In more detail. E[L ] i. (10) Collision duration TC : When two or more stations transmit at the same time a collision occurs. then pf = pc + pe − pc · pe where pe stands for the frame error rate. A. [17] proposes the use of a physical delimiter. Adding another field to the fragment header will of course increase the transmission overhead. (11) • The expected state duration is E[T ] = PI TI +P3 T3 +PC TC . Success/Error and Collision events respectively. which is transmitted at 6Mbps. the PHY layer increases its rate accordingly. phy T3 = Thdr + Tf + Tack . 6: else if offset = pLEN/fragment size then 7: fragment i’s length = pLEN . 12: check the correctness of the fragment body using the FCS of it. a SIFS and an ACK duration. see Section V-E for an example of this overhead. In AFR. We have that PI = (1 − τ )n . Transmitting the delimiter at 6Mbps leads to a constant 8µs duration.offset * fragment size. Model We assume that readers are familiar with the Bianchi model [12]. so pf = pc = 1 − (1 − τ )n−1 where pc is the STA collision probability. if the contention window is doubled. and explain only the differences between our model and that of Bianchi. 21: end if to analyse the saturation throughput and delay of the AFR scheme over a noisy channel. We say a station is saturated if. This facilitates a clear understanding of the pros and cons of the aggregation itself. [38]. Altogether. However. we are interested in noisy channels. 1 . T HEORETICAL A NALYSIS Building on previous modeling work [12]. the receiver sends back the ACK frame in both the successful and erroneous cases. We first compute the expected state duration E[T ]. In addition. and remove them from the receiving queue. P3 = and PC = 1 − PI − P3 . For the second question. P3 . this delimiter technique requires extra zeros to be added at the PHY layer [28]. In the AFR scheme. 18: check the receiving queue and transfer all correctly received packets upwards. The saturation throughput S is defined as the expected payload size of a successfully transmitted frame E[Lf ] in an expected slot duration E[T ]. [30]. Details analysis of one-to-many aggregation is however out of the scope of the present paper.Algorithm 1 : Pseudo Code of the receiver’s running logic 1: if MAC header is correct then 2: for i = 0 to fragment number . both MAC and fragment headers are transmitted at the current data rate and so their duration decreases with increasing data-rate. no station transmits a frame and we have TI = σ. we have focussed only on aggregation between a single source-destination pair. 10: end if 11: fragment start position = startPos in the fragment header. and when the channel state improves. In this case the sender waits for an EIFS before the next transmission and so phy TC = Thdr + Tf + TEIF S .. [27] and [14]. it can always fill a long enough frame without waiting. 15: end for 16: construct ACK frame using the ACK bitmap and send it back. then pf = pc . the slot duration is the sum of a frame. τ can be expressed as a function of pf using a Markov chain similar to that of Bianchi’s.e. 4) Multi-rate: In the current WLANs. Bianchi’s model assumes there are no errors in the channel. (14) Letting pf denote the probability of doubling the contention window after a transmission. in this section we develop a model and use it 6 Success/Error duration T3 : When a frame is successfully transmitted or it is corrupted due to channel noise5 . PC are the probabilities of Idle. there are three kinds of event in the AFR scheme (notation is listed in Table I): • Idle duration TI : When all STAs are counting down.

e. C. Maximum frame size It can be seen in Fig. Assuming independent and identically distributed errors. which is inconsistent with the 802.78 Mbps for BER = 10−6 . we have that (since T3 =TC ) SAF R = = P3 · (1 − pf rag ) P3 · (1 − pf rag ) e e ≈ (P3 + PC ) · T3 /Lf (1 − PI ) · Tf /Lf P3 · (1 − pf rag ) e (1 − PI ) · ((Lf rag +LF CS +Lhdr )/Lf rag )∗8∗Symbol f rag N dbps where Lf rag and Lf are the length of a fragment and the length of payload of a full frame respectively.11n proposal [4]. relax this assumption [38] and thus we use Equations (8) and (9) from [38] for greater accuracy. D. the analysis and simulations match well.11 specification [1]. Solving for τ . When a large fragment size is used. but rather the expected number of successfully transmitted bits – recall that the AFR scheme allows successfully transmitted fragments to be received even if some fragments within a frame are corrupted. It can be seen that whereas the DCF efficiency rapidly decreases with increasing PHY rate (falling from 42% at 54Mbs to less than 10% at 432Mbs) the AFR efficiency is approximately constant with increasing PHY rate as discussed above. Wu et al. Let i denote the number of erroneous fragments. Fortunately. We have that e e i m . a model for the latter is required. B. hroughput Fig. BER = 10−5 and BER = 10−4 respectively. it can be seen that a maximum frame size of 32768 bytes is acceptable for data-rates up to 216 Mbps over a wide range of channel conditions while a maximum frame size of 65536 bytes is acceptable for data-rates up to 648 Mbps. Improvements over DCF For comparing the AFR and DCF performance. Both simulation and model results are shown in Fig. The upper limit on frame size depends on the PHY’s abilities and is also constrained by interface memory and the size of the STA’s sending buffer. arbitrarily large frame sizes are often not feasible. We note that 65536 bytes is also the maximum size proposed in TGn’s 802. e e i i=0 (16) and the fragment error rate pf rag is: e E[L] = pf rag = 1 − (1 − pb )Lf rag +LF CS . and pb is the BER. (20) Using this equation. only corrupted bits are retransmitted but since each fragment has a fixed size header the overhead is relatively large. These values are marked by horizontal lines on Fig. In practice. 4(b). Let ∆ = m · (pf rag )i · (1 − pf rag )m−i . For example. Observe that the efficiency falls with increasing BER as expected. achieving approximately 70% throughput efficiency for a BER of 10−5 and 60% efficiency for a BER of 10−4 . It can be seen from Fig. 4(c) plots the throughput efficiency ( TP HY Rate ·100%) of the DCF and AFR schemes as PHY rate is increased. it can be seen in Fig.55 and 31. e (17) m DCF achieves almost zero throughput for a frame size of 8192 bytes in a channel with BER of 10−4 while AFR achieves around 30Mbps throughput under the same conditions. the DCF throughput exhibits a maximum value as frame size is varied. of course. If we consider operation at 90% or higher of the maximum achievable throughput to be our target. Table 4(d) gives the loss in throughput (compared to the maximum achievable throughput) versus the frame size for a range of data-rates. the overhead created by the fragment header is small but many bits will be unnecessarily retransmitted since a single damaged bit in a fragment will lead 7 E[L] = i=0 [∆ · (Lf − i · Lf rag )] Lf · (1 − pf rag ). Specifically. m · (pf rag )i · (1 − pf rag )m−i · (Lf − i · Lf rag ). . the probability of a frame being corrupted by noise also increases with frame size thereby tending to decrease throughput and the interaction of these two effects leads to the existence of an optimal size of frame that depends on the BER. PI TI + P3 T3 + PC TC (18) = We thus have that SAF R = (19) This model is validated against NS-2 simulations. We can determine this asymptotic value analytically as follows.assumes that a frame can be retransmitted infinite times. We use the DCF-MODEL that has been developed and validated in our previous work [30]. e P3 · Lf · (1 − pf rag ) e . the AFR throughput increases monotonically with frame size even when the channel is noisy. Optimal fragment size Fragmentation plays a central role in aggregation schemes such as AFR. We calculate E[L] as follows. with the maximum depending on the BER – this arises because while increasing frame payload size tends to increase throughput. When a very small fragment size is used. and m denote the number of fragments in a frame. 4(b) that AFR fundamentally changes the throughput scaling behaviour in a noisy channel. 4(b) that the gap between the maximum and actual throughput narrows rapidly with increasing frame sizes.30. As the frame size Lf → ∞. we can obtain the saturation throughput SAF R of the AFR scheme from SAF R = P3 · E[L] PI TI + P3 T3 + PC TC (15) Note that E[L] is not the frame payload size. 4(b) that the AFR throughput asymptotically approaches a maximum value as frame size is increased. the asymptotic values are 39. In contrast. but that the efficiency remains relatively high even under noisy conditions.g. 38.. The resulting gain in throughput compared to DCF is dramatic. As we can see from the results. with fragments being the unit used for retransmission. 4(a).

2.1 0.6% 28. 28. 0. always positive) difference between the throughput using the fragment size marked on the x-axis and the throughput when using the optimal fragment size. We have obtained similar results under a wide range of conditions including different numbers of stations. 8. 2. 8192 Fig. for a packet P with a size of Lp .7% 5. the basic rates are on the right.5% 4.8% 3. Other parameters are listed in Fig. 8.0%.. Fig. 0. Corresponding data for a range of PHY rates are summarised in Table IV.6% 1. 4(c) 10 =R varied =R N/A N/A 1024 65536 256 Fig. 128 256 512 1024 2048 4096 8192 Fragment size (bytes) Fragment size (bytes) (a) Optimal fragment size (b) Diff. 10−6 respectively).0%.9%.0%. 512 0. Other parameters are listed in Fig.3% 1.7%. 0.8%.4 Maximum throughput (Mbps) Diff. (a) AFR: model vs. as is to be expected (128.14. b The results are frames with 64-byte fragments. Fig. 0.4%. 128 2. 1(c) and Table III. 8 10 =R varied =R N/A N/A 1024 varied 256 Number of STAs (n) Application rate (Mbps) Data rate (Mbps) (R) Basic rate (Mbps) AFR sending queue (packets)a AFR IFQ (packets)b Packet (bytes) Frame (bytes) (Lf ) AFR fragment (bytes)(Lf rag ) a AFR b AFR sending queue is the queue at MAC layer to temporarily store the packets from the AFR IFQ in AFR’s simulations. · · · . From this plot we can see that if we can tolerate a throughput loss of up to 10%. 0. 10−5 . 0.6% 22.7% 0. It can be seen from Fig. In practice.0%. The x-axis is fragment size.0% 0. The unit of the rates is Mbps.2% 4. It can be seen that fragment sizes of 128 and 256 bytes are always able to achieve within 10% of the maximum possible throughput.0%. the PHY rates are on the left of the slash. The unit of the rates is Mbps. 0.0%. 31. 6.2%. 0.0%.3% 0.05 0 64 BER = 10−4 BER = 10−5 BER = 10−6 Ratesa 54/6 108/24 216/24 432/54 648/216 64b 2. 2.5% 1.6% 0. to maximum throughput Fig. 1(c) and Table III.50 100 Saturation throughput (Mbps) 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 128 256 512 1024 Saturation throughput (Mbps) 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 DCF BER = 10−5 DCF BER = 10−6 MAC efficiency (%) Simulation BER = 10−4 Simulation BER = 10−5 Simulation BER = 10−6 Model BER = 10−4 Model BER = 10−5 Model BER = 10−6 45 40 AFR BER = 10−4 AFR BER = 10−5 AFR BER = 10−6 DCF BER = 10−4 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 54 AFR BER=10−6 −5 AFR BER=10 −4 AFR BER=10 −6 DCF BER=10 −5 DCF BER=10 DCF BER=10−4 Rates 54/6 108/24 216/24 432/54 648/216 frame=32768 2.8% 2048 Fragment size (bytes) 0 256 512 1024 2048 4096 8192 16384 65536 262144 108 162 216 270 324 378 432 486 540 594 648 Frame size (bytes) PHY rate (Mbps) (a) Model Validation (b) AFR vs DCF with increasing frame (c) AFR vs DCF with increasing PHY sizes rates (d) Loss in throughput Fig. Fig. 0.4%. 5. 65536*4=262144 256 TABLE III T HE PARAMETERS USED IN THE THEORETICAL MODEL AND ITS VALIDATION . compared to that achieved with the optimal fragment sizes. 6.0%. 0. 7. 7.0% 0.1% 1.2% 8. we are interested in determining a simple scheme that approximates the optimal fragment sizes performance. 9. to maximum throughput 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 64 BER = 10−4 BER = 10−5 BER = 10−6 128 256 512 1024 2048 4096 8192 0. then fragment sizes of 128 bytes and 256 bytes are nearoptimal across a wide range of BERs.0%.0% 0. 28. 5 10 54 54 6 N/A N/A = Lf rag 8192 32.0%.2%.3 0.6%.7%. Observe that the optimal fragment size depends on the BER. 0.0%.0%. the y-axis of Fig.1%. 5(a) plots throughput versus fragment size from which the existence of an optimal fragment size that maximises throughput is evident.1% 3.0%. IFQ is the queue between MAC and its upper in AFR’s simulations. (b) The influence of frame size. 5(a) that the throughput peak is relatively flat and broad and thus we expect that the throughput reduction resulting from an approximate scheme can be kept 8 relatively small.6% 6. under BER 10−4 .e. 0. 2048 Fig. 6.9% frame=65536 1. 7 10 432 432 54 N/A N/A 2048 8192 256 Fig. of using a sub-optimal fragment size. 5(a) is the absolute (i. 13. 10−5 .9%.3% 15.0%. · · · . 1. The values in the second and the third columns are differences between the throughput under the rates in the first column and the maximum throughput.4%. 5(b) plots the reduction in throughput.0%. 256 0.2% 0. 10.0%.0% TABLE IV D IFFERENCES TO MAXIMUM THROUGHPUT IN DIFFERENT PHY LAYERS . Based on these results. 10−6 respectively. 0.25 0.9%. For a given BER there therefore exists an optimal fragment size that balances the tradeoff between fragment header overhead and excessive retransmission.35 0. the basic rates are on the right.0% 0. find the .1%. we propose a simple fragmentation algorithm: namely.0%. · · · . Fig. 4. 8.8%.9% 0. 0. 0.3%.9%. 4(a) 10 54 54 6 200 200 2048 2048 128. (d) In the first column. 4(b) 10 54 54 6 N/A N/A = Lf 256.6%. (c) AFR vs.2% 5. 5. 9. simulations.15 0. to the entire fragment being retransmitted. 30.1%.2% 1. a The PHY rates are on the left of the slash.8%.2 0.7% 9. 512 and 1024 bytes for BER=10−4 . 11.5%.5%. but these are not included here due to their similarity to the results in Table IV.2%. DCF with increasing PHY rate.3% 6.

4) Aggregation from [17]. the resulting sizes are almost the same. + (pf rag )r e e e e = 1 − (pf rag )r . 2) PAC. We divide P into m fragments.. 2. Lp /(2ς+1 − 2) zeros are required. As shown in [28]. In the Burst ACK and Block ACK schemes.m which satisfies BurstACK DIFS backoff PHYhdr Frame SIFS ACK SIFS SIFS PHYhdr Frame SIFS ACK (m − 1) · 256 + 1 < Lp ≤ m · 256. The PHY header duration has a minimum value as discussed previously.11a PHY. L L L each of which has a size in the range of ( mp .. So the expected number of retransmission e . 2) Block ACK. Aggregation and AFR. The PAC scheme is similar to our AFR scheme. AFR is the only scheme to use both fragmentation and aggregation. Further. mp + 1. The schemes in the first category transmit multiple frames at each transmission opportunity. backoff where m = 1.. These schemes can be classified into two categories: 1) Burst ACK and Block ACK. i. E. the sizes of all fragments fall between 128 and 256 bytes. the probability of transmitting a packet in exactly r attempts is (1 − (pf rag )r )m − (1 − e (pf rag )r −1 )m . basic rate is 54 Mbps. zeros should be inserted to ensure the particularity of the delimiter. E[T ] (21) In the AFR scheme. Fragmentation is not addressed in this scheme. Delay Analysis Our model can be extended to estimate the MAC layer delay. the mean time between a packet reaching the 9 BlockACK DIFS PHYhdr Frame SIFS PHYhdr Frame SIFS BlockAck Request SIFS Block Ack backoff DIFS PHYhdr Frame Sub PHYhdr Frame Sub PHYhdr Frame SIFS ACK PAC backoff Aggregation DIFS PHYhdr MD Frame MD Frame MD Frame SIFS ACK backoff DIFS PHYhdr frame SIFS ACK AFR Fig. Packet Concatenation (PAC) [21] and Aggregation [17]. The schemes in the second category transmit only one frame and use packet aggregation. Saturation throughput of the five schemes compared in this paper. hence the per packet overhead does not decrease with increasing PHY rate. none of these schemes satisfy all of the scalability conditions derived in Section III. In this way. 3) Packet Concatenation from [21].e. thus the delay to successfully transmit one frame is 1/S f rame . A PHY header is transmitted before each packet. the MAC layer can transport S f rame frames in one second. The other parameters are listed in Fig. AFR achieves the highest throughput regardless of the number of stations. Specifically. Note that apart from AFR. The number of zeros inserted depends on the sizes of the delimiter and the packet. a 257 byte packet is divided into one 128 byte and one 129 byte fragment.. Thus. 200 Saturation throughput (Mbps) 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 5 10 20 30 50 AFR Aggregation PAC Block ACK Burst ACK 80 The number of STAs Fig.. we compare the throughput performance of AFR with four other schemes proposed in the literature: Burst ACK ([32] [33] [36]). which is of a 12µs duration with an IEEE 802. In particular. and ς = 5 [28]. That is. For example. rather than one 256 byte and one 1 byte fragment. delimitation techniques need support from the PHY layer. The PHY data rate is 432 Mbps. Five schemes compared in this paper. Comparison with Similar Schemes In this section.. . A sub-physical header is transmitted before each packet and similar comments apply. 7. The Aggregation scheme in [17] uses a special delimiter before each packet in a frame. mp + (m − 1)). collisions lead to the whole Burst/Block being lost while errors lead to retransmission only of the corrupted packet. This is due to the long duration of the sub-physical-header. Block ACK ([3] [41]). . The probability of successfully transmitting m fragments in ≤ r attempts is (1 − (pf rag )r )m . F. It can be seen that the schemes employing aggregation (the second category) consistently outperform the Burst and Block ACK schemes. • Burst ACK and Block ACK. Results are shown in Fig. 5) AFR. a packet is fragmented and may be only partially transmitted in one transmission. where S f rame = E[number of f rames] . 7. 256. . 1) Burst ACK. 6. For an 8-bit delimiter as in [17]. Each fragment will be successfully transmitted in ≤ r successful frame transmissions with probability (1 − pf rag ) + (pf rag )(1 − pf rag ) + . where Lp is the packet size. . • Aggregation. except that before each packet in a frame there is a sub-physical-header. Let S f rame be the system throughput in framesper-second rather than bits-per-second. It can also be seen that the PAC scheme has the lowest throughput amongst schemes in the second category.. BER = 10−5 . assuming e that errors are independent. we need to know the mean delay before all fragments of a packet are successfully transmitted. More importantly. • PAC. 1(c) and Table III. head of the MAC interface queue and being successfully transmitted. e −1 (1 − pf rag ) e (22) Suppose that a packet arrives and is divided into m fragments.

3 0 54 108 162 216 270 324 378 432 486 540 594 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 648 MAC efficiency (%) MAC delay (msec) PHY rate (Mbps) PHY rate (Mbps) (a) Efficiency/delay vs PHY rate (b) Frame sizes Fig. P3 (24) For a fixed PHY rate. the system should have less than 1% of packets whose delays are greater than 30 ms.11n’s requirement [8]). Metrics We use the following metrics: Let c denote the number of packets (packet size is Lp bytes) successfully received by all of the STAs and t denote the simulation duration. the MAC delay will also increase with b. We report here the simulation results for three types of traffic (TCP. [11]. At the MAC layer. TCP SACK functionality is used as this is prevalent in real networks. this is not the case when we choose the frame size to be a function of the PHY rate. In particular. Since in a WLAN.6 0. The other parameters are listed in Fig. 9(a) we can see that AFR achieves considerable throughput gains (by a factor of between 2 and 3 depending on channel conditions) over DCF. 8(a) we vary the frame sizes while increasing the PHY rates so that the throughput efficiency and MAC layer delay maintain roughly constant. 10 .8 1. by scaling the frame size in proportion to the PHY rate not only do we maintain MAC efficiency but we also maintain an approximately constant frame transmission time in which case the MAC delay is invariant with PHY rate.3 2.11n usage model [8]. The network topology that we used is a peerto-peer one where STA i sends packets to STA i + 1. Peak delay (= max{dmax . we have implemented the AFR scheme in the network simulator NS-2 [10]. This metric is used for HDTV. HDTV and VoIP). As noted previously. Let ts be the i time when the i-th packet is put in the interface queue (IFQ) between MAC and its upper layer at the sender. owing to the associated increase in frame transmission time. we expect the MAC delay to increase with frame size owing to the larger transmission time Tf for a frame. i.g. Important features of TCP include the fact that traffic is (i) elastic and so achieved throughput is related to network capacity. TCP ACKs are small packets so that it may be difficult to aggregate enough of them to form a large frame. (23) Here.5 1. all of which follow the requirements of the 802. This is the criterion proposed in IEEE 802. at the application layer. The corresponding frame size as a function of PHY rate is shown in Fig. S IMULATIONS As a complement to the theoretical analysis in Section V. TCP traffic TCP currently carries the great majority of network traffic and it is therefore important to investigate the support of the AFR scheme for TCP traffic. VI. 8. dmax }. However. From Fig. we evaluate AFR performance in a heavily-loaded WLAN with 50 STAs. Percentage delay: The metric we use for VoIP is the percentage delay at the application level. AFR performance is relatively insensitive to the choice of fragment size in the range 128-256 bytes. less than 1% of packets may have delay greater than 15 ms.4 MAC delay BER=10−5 MAC delay BER=10−6 MAC efficiency BER=10−5 MAC efficiency BER=10−6 100 90 80 49 45 A. 8(a). the efficiency rises. which plots the MAC delay with increasing PHY rate. the actual throughput increases from 54 ∗ 60% = 32 Mbps to 648 ∗ 60% = 388. However. See our technical report for other details about the simulation [26]. This is illustrated in Fig. attempts can be written as ∞ • r= r =1 r (1 − (pf rag )r )m − (1 − (pf rag )r e e −1 m ) . Fig. Delay performance: In Fig. although as might be expected the choice of fragment size becomes more important at higher BERs.8 Mbps. and the corresponding frame sizes are shown in Fig. the level of MAC efficiency depends on the scaling factor b relating frame size to PHY rate.9 0. • Frame size (Kilo−bytes) 41 37 33 29 25 20 16 12 8 4 54 108 162 216 270 324 378 432 486 540 594 648 2. Note that while the MAC efficiency and MAC delay are constant. First..7 2. Throughput (= c ∗ Lp ∗ 8/t Mbps): Throughput represents the maximum rate at which the MAC layer can forward packets from senders to receivers. Second.1 1.2 0. and (ii) two-way and while TCP data packets are typically large. Each STA performs a large FTP download. the data packet length is 984 bytes which yields an IP packet size of 1024 bytes when TCP and IP headers are added. we evaluate AFR performance as the number of STAs is varied from 10 to 80. 8(b). Let te denote i the time when the i-th packet is transferred to its upper layer by the receiver. this throughput is that achieved by the whole system rather than by a single STA. · · · . As we increase b.e. the sum may be truncated to account for the finite number of retransmission attempts. all the STAs share a common medium. A design decision therefore has to be made as to the desired trade-off between throughput efficiency and delay. AFR achieves between 2. dmax . B. we use a similar threshold. It is defined as the percentage of packets whose delay is greater than a delay upper limit (e. 8(b). Therefore we have that mac the per packet MAC delay DAF R is mac DAF R = r · • PI TI + P3 T3 + PC TC . 9(b) shows both the AFR and DCF throughput. where 1 2 n dmax denotes the maximum delay among all the packets i successfully received by STA i): Peak delay is the maximum delay experienced by a successfully transmitted packet. As discussed previously.5 and 3 times the throughput of DCF over this range of network conditions. 1(c) and Table III.

20 0 10 20 30 50 80 Fragment size Number of STAs (a) Throughput vs fragment size (b) Throughput vs STAs Fig.4 0. we restrict consideration to independent and identically distributed (i. Moreover.0% 0.096 54 6 10 10 20 120 120 1200 120 MAC throughput per STA (Mbps) 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Peak delay per STA (second) AFR BER = 10 −6 AFR BER = 10 −5 DCF BER = 10 −6 DCF BER = 10 −5 0.) channel noise. Thus there may not be enough packets for AFR to 11 aggregate and the DCF and AFR schemes might be expected to achieve more or less the same performance.0% 0.4% 1. The peak delay constraint of 200ms is marked on Fig. it can be argued that i. 1(c) and Table V. 10. T HE OTHER ROWS REPRESENT THE PERCENTAGE OF 15 ms WITH THE BOLD FIGURES SHOW 1%. 1( C ) AND TABLE V. That is.d. HDTV has a constant packet size of 1500 bytes.11n proposal [8]. Fig.1% 9.0% 0.i.2% 90 15.9% 10. a sending rate of 19. 10 shows the throughput and delay performance of the AFR and DCF schemes as the number of STAs (and so HDTV flows) is varied.9% 85.3 0. Simulation results for TCP traffic.4% 9.0% 0.0% 50 0. The parameters are listed in Fig.d. VoIP is a challenging application for aggregation schemes because of its on/off nature and small packet sizes.0% 0.0% 0. 10 0.224Mbps.5 0. demonstrating the effectiveness of the AFR scheme even for traffic with very small packet sizes. S COPE OF THE PAPER In this paper.4% 3.i.11a test-bed [29]). The overall network throughput achieved with 9 flows and BER = 10−5 is 162Mbs.1% 0. T HE PARAMETERS ARE LISTED IN F IG . 1(c) and Table V. noise is in fact a worst case for aggregation schemes since in fading environments the bit errors tend to cluster together into bursts [15] (see also the measurement of the bit error distribution from an IEEE 802.0% 0.d.2 0. 9.Number of STAs (n) Application rate (Mbps) Data rate (Mbps) (R) Basic rate (Mbps) AFR sending queue (packets)a AFR IFQ (packets)b DCF IFQ (packets)c Packet (bytes) DCF frame (bytes) AFR frame (bytes) AFR fragment (bytes) Fig.0% 0. AFR can support up to 9 and 10 streams for BER = 10−5 and BER = 10−6 respectively.2% 34. HDTV should be supported in future WLANs.0% 30 0.6 0.8 0. We note that provided the channel coherence time is long enough to support large frame transmissions. VII.9% 24. the HDTV capacity is increased by a factor of 5 over the legacy DCF. It can be seen that AFR’s delay percentages are substantially less than the DCF’s under all conditions. The parameters are listed in Fig. In contrast.0% 0. we comment that the PHY characteristics of IEEE 802. D. We consider a WLAN with pure VoIP traffic. noise with . 100 90 a AFR 140 AFR BER = 10−4 AFR BER = 10−5 AFR BER = 10−6 DCF BER = 10−4 100 DCF BER = 10−5 DCF BER = 10−6 AFR AFR AFR DCF DCF DCF (BER = (BER = (BER = (BER = (BER = (BER = 10−4 ) 10−5 ) 10−6 ) 10−4 ) 10−5 ) 10−6 ) 120 Throughput (Mbps) 70 AFR BER = 10−4 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 128 256 512 1024 AFR BER = 10−5 AFR BER = 10−6 DCF BER = 10−4 DCF BER = 10−5 DCF BER = 10−6 Throughput (Mbps) 80 80 TABLE VI S IMULATION RESULTS FOR V O IP TRAFFIC . HDTV According to the requirement of the IEEE 802.0% 0. C. It can be seen that DCF can support only 2 simultaneous HDTV streams before the delay requirement is violated and the per flow throughput rapidly falls below the offered load. Simulation results for HDTV traffic. and a 200ms peak delay requirement. which is basically an on/off UDP stream with a peak rate (96Kbps) and a small packet size (120 bytes) according to the IEEE 802.7% 75. Fig. We use Brady’s model [37] of VoIP traffic in which the mean ON and OFF periods are 1500 ms. An uneven error distribution typically benefits aggregation schemes since fewer retransmission are required compared to i.0% 0. c DCF IFQ is the queue between MAC and its upper in DCF’s simulations.11n requirements [8].0% 0. 9 (a)50 (b)varied N/A 432 54 10 10 20 1024 1024 8192 (a)varied (b)512 TABLE V Fig.0% 0. Table VI shows the percentage of packets with delay exceeding 15 ms for a range of network conditions and numbers of voice calls.0% 0.11n are still unknown at this time making the selection of a more accurate channel model problematic. Although we recognise that such a memory-less model is unable to capture fading characteristics in wireless channels. We investigate AFR HDTV performance with a 432Mbps PHY data rate.i. T HE FIRST ROW REPRESENTS THE NUMBER OF PACKETS WITH DELAY MORE THAN THE PERCENTAGE GREATER THAN 60 40 STA S .8% sending queue is the queue at MAC layer for temporarily storing the packets from the AFR IFQ. VoIP The third application that we consider is VoIP. Our performance requirement is to have less than 1% of packets with delays larger than 15 ms. 10 varied 20 432 54 10 10 20 1500 1500 9000 750 Table VI varied 0. 10(b). it is relatively straightforward to modify our analysis to encompass more complex channels.0% 80 4. b AFR IFQ is the queue between MAC and its upper in AFR’s simulations.0% 0.1 0 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 AFR BER = 10−5 AFR BER = 10−6 DCF BER = 10−5 DCF BER = 10−6 Number of STAs Number of STAs (a) Throughput (b) Peak delay T HE PARAMETERS USED IN THE NS-2 SIMULATIONS .7 0.

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[15] R. it is obvious that less retransmission is needed. No. Li. T.11n standard. If errors happen during the transmission. Ni. pp. These include optimization of the CSMA/CA contention window. 18. [16] G. “A High-Throughput MAC Strategy for Next-Generation WLANs”. June 2005. D. Vitsas.0. IEEE 802. Measurement. [32] V. John Wiley & Sons. Rousseau. al. Thus several other techniques for further optimising CSMA/CA performance are not addressed here. GLOBECOM 2004.11e/D8. and Y. Apr. Ketchum.the same mean BER [9].11a. C. 10951109. T. Jain. “An Analytic Model for Infrastructure WLAN Capacity with Bidirectional Frame Aggregation”.tgnsync. Ni. Q. [21] Z. INFOCOM 1998. J. [31] Q. MOBICOM 2004. et. “TGn Sync Proposal Technical Specification”. [26] T. Sadeghi.11 Wireless LANs: Usage Models”.11 DCF via Distributed Reservation”. 1975. R EFERENCES [1] IEEE std 802. SIGCOMM 2005. To achieve high efficiency at the medium access control (MAC) layer. Inc. R. Tan and J. www. Li. [23] P. 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Mujtaba.11 Wireless Networks”. which has been the subject of much attention in the literature. reference number ISO/IEC 8802-11:1999(E). Cantieni.11. Transmission delays are minimised by using a zerowaiting mechanism where frames are transmitted immediately once the MAC wins a transmission opportunity.11 WLANs. Yoo. 802. D. “Aggregation with Fragment Retransmission for Very High-Speed WLANs”. Takai. IEEE Std. C. “Exploiting Medium Access Diversity in Rate Adaptive Wireless LANs”. We have implemented the AFR scheme in the NS-2 simulator and present detailed results for TCP.. Malone. [10] NS. [29] A. “EBA: An Enhancement of the IEEE 802. 2004.. 945-956.. “Opportunistic Media Access for Multirate Ad hoc networks”.. “The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis: Techniques for Experiment Design. and T. Xiao. Optimal frame and fragment sizes are calculated using this model.11”.11n working group work. and to compare AFR with competing schemes in the literature. Hamilton Institute. Zhou. we identify fundamental properties that must be satisfied by any CSMA/CA based MAC layer and develop a novel scheme called Aggregation with Fragment Retransmission (AFR).11b”. “Enhancing performance of the IEEE 802. As a complement to the theoretical analysis. February 2004. A. [18] M. Turletti. Turletti. 1982.11-04/889r6. 1968.magisnetworks. http://www. “Idle Sense: An Optimal Access Method for High Throughput and Fairness in Rate Diverse Wireless LANs”. Duda. Kleinrock. [42]. For instance. Choi. 1991. www. “Time-based Fairness Improves Performance in Multi-rate Wireless LANs”. M. Ni.ie/tianji li/afr. 2006. Turletti. Ni. Two-way aggregation is also possible. Bagrodia. and C. et. Heusse. Leith. I. Liu and A. Stephens. in which large frames piggyback in the ACK frames ([4]. “System Description and Operating Principles for High Throughput Enhancements to 802. 12 . T.J. Kim. G. Barakat. [30] Q. Xiao. IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications. B. al. Koksal. D.11 distributed coordination function”. VIII. S. Wiley Journal of Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing (JWCMC). “Adaptive Frame Length Control for Improving Wireless Link Throughput. D. Q. [8] A.11-04/0870r0. Trends indicated by our simulation results should extend to any well-designed aggregation scheme. Leith. V. Li. “Performance Anomaly of 802. May. Issue 10. K. and T. F. Ni. R.11 e/a Throughput Analysis”. “Performance analysis of the IEEE 802. Ireland.11n”. IEEE 802. [19] M. [13] J. 1999. 2004. [34] G. Y. Turletti.11 Distributed Coordination Function via Packet Bursting”. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The first four authors would like to acknowledge the support of Science Foundation Ireland grant IN3/03/I346. Vol. al. [2] Part 11: wireless LAN medium access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) specifications: high-speed physical layer in the 5 GHz band. Singh. T. [22] L. USENIX 2004. IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing. and R. [25] T. John Wiley and Sons. Malone. [24] C. Barakat. et. [9] Magis Networks White Paper. Lettieri and M.. The AFR scheme described was developed as part of the 802. Xiao. J.com. 2004.html [12] G. “System Description and Operating Principles for High Throughput Enhancements to 802. Balakrishnan. et. “Performance Analysis of the IEEE 802. The theoretical analysis presented here is general enough to be extended to the proposed scheme in the upcoming 802. Aug. and T. Choi and C. http://www. IEEE WoWMoM 2005. 2004. Q. Gallager.11”. P. Duffy and D. May. Vol. [5] Q. et. S. and [39]). Technical Report. Aad. Malone. Y. NUIM. [3] Part 11: wireless LAN medium access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) specifications: Medium Access Control (MAC) Quality of Service (QoS) Enhancements. we investigate by simulations the impact of AFR on the performance of realistic application traffic with diverse requirements. IEEE 802. F. [17] S.11 distributed coordination function in non-saturated heterogeneous conditions”. Knightly. Part 11: wireless LAN MAC and physical layer specifications. ”IEEE 802. “On the Impact of HDLC Zero Insertion and Deletion on Link Utilization and Reliability”. An analytic model is developed to evaluate the throughput and delay of AFR over a noisy channel. only the corrupted fragments of the large frame are retransmitted. IEEE Transactions on Communications. 5. Li. Xiao. IEEE 802. and Energy Efficiency”.11 WLAN”. MOBICOM 2002. and T. and each fragment has exact one corrupted bit. [31] and references therein for further details. Chang. We prove that zero-waiting can achieve maximum throughput. 1999. [7] M. 28. Sept.11-03/802r23. Turletti and Y.

HUST.11 Performance Enhancement via Concatenation and Piggyback Mechanisms”. [37] W. [42] X. [41] Y. pp. 2182. His interests include wavelets. Tianji Li received the B. Qiang Ni is currently a lecturer in the Electronic & Computer Engineering. 82-91.11 wireless MAC and PHY layer protocols design. INFOCOM 2005. mobile computing.11 wireless standard working group Voting Member. From 2001 to 2003. He is a member of IEEE and was a recipient of the Best Student Award from Cisco Networking Academy. (1995) degrees in computer science both from the University of Nice . 2. National University of Ireland Maynooth. Peng. etc. His research interests include multimedia applications. Rosdahl. Since 2002 he has been active as an IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN: Analysis and Enhancement”. “Performance of Reliable Transport Protocol over IEEE 802. UK.Sophia Antipolis. analysis and standardization. Yang Xiao worked at Micro Linear as an MAC (Medium Access Control) architect involving the IEEE 802. Yang and N. “Performance analysis and enhancement for the current and future IEEE 802.D. in 1989. He is an IEEE Senior Member. 2003. National University of Ireland at Maynooth. and conferences in the above fields. GLOBECOM. he was a software engineer at the Beijing Research Institute of Huawei Technologies.hamilton. Liew.S. NUI Maynooth. His research interests are performance evaluation and optimization in wireless networks. to appear in the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing. (1990) and the Ph. His current research interests include the analysis and design of network congestion control and distributed resource allocation in wireless networks. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for International Journal of Security and Networks (IJSN) and for International Journal of Sensor Networks (IJSNet). 7.11 MAC protocols”. Li.(mod).S. PLACE PHOTO HERE Douglas Leith graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1986 and was awarded his PhD.11 Wireless LAN”. degrees in computer science from JiLin and ZhongShan Universities. He serves as TPC for more than 70 conferences such as INFOCOM.[35] G. [38] H. S.D. he is working HERE towards the Ph. He has published over 40 refereed papers in international leading journals. “A Wireless MAC Protocol Using Implicit Pipelining”. IEEE Transactions On Vehicular Technology. mathematics of networks. He received his Ph.A. 2005. Ireland. IPv6 and systems administration. HERE Networks and Systems group at LCS. degrees in mathematics from Trinity College Dublin. Turletti currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing (WCMC). He was a voting member of IEEE 802. During his time as a postgraduate. S. Prior to that. Long. ICDCS. Apr. and V. ICC. He has published more than 140 papers in major journals (more than 40 in various IEEE Journals/magazines).11 MAC Protocol Leads to Inefficient Equilibris”. he was a visiting researcher at the Wireless and Networking Group of Microsoft Research Asia Lab. France. Wu. book chapters. “Packet Frame Grouping: Improving IP multimedia performance over CSMA/CA”. wireless PAN and 3G/4G mobile cellular networks. and was with CEIA (Center for HERE Information Assurance) at The University of Memphis. France. WiMaX. [36] J. degree in Engineering in 1999 from HuaZhong University of Science and Technology (HUST). Dr. In 2001. China. Xiao and J.11 standard enhancement work before he joined Department of Computer Science at The PLACE University of Memphis in 2002. No.ie) of which he is Director. Vaidya. Tan and J. in 1998 and 2001. 6-19. respectively. Dec. China. PLACE PHOTO HERE David Malone received B. He is currently a research scientist at the Plan` te group e at INRIA Sophia Antipolis. MIT. refereed conference proceedings. Maynooth to assume the position of SFI Principal Investigator and to establish the Hamilton Institute (www. His research interests are wireless networking and mobile communications including wireless LANs. Wang. Brunel University. Xiao. Vol. ICUPC 1998. special issue on Wireless Home Networks. degree at the Hamilton Institute. he became a member of the FreeBSD development team. Leith moved to the National University of Ireland. He has conducted extensive research work on the IEEE 802. 2005. [40] Y. 13 . 2005. “The 802. and M. Prof. He is currently with Department of Computer Science at The University of Alabama. degree in networking and distributed PLACE computation from the University of Nice Sophia PHOTO Antipolis. Jan. in 2004. and Ph. 5.11 Working Group from 2001 to 2004. He has done his PhD studies in the RODEO group PLACE at INRIA Sophia Antipolis. China and subsequently spent two years as a postdoctoral research fellow at Multimedia and Wireless Communication Research Laboratory. book chapters related to these research areas. IEEE Wireless Communications. also from the University of Glasgow. He worked with INRIA France as a Researcher for three years (20012004). IEEE INFOCOM 2002. PHOTO involved in a 5. He serves as a referee/reviewer for many funding agencies. K. as well as a panelist for NSF and a member of Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)’s Telecommunications expert committee. During the period of 2000-2001. IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications. China. and network security.2192. Ma. and the M.S. School of Engineering and Design. O. he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Telemedia. 4. Guttag. “IEEE 802. Tourrilhes. WCNC. M. No. “IEEE 802. Currently.11n: Enhancements for Higher Throughput in Wireless LANs”. He is the director PHOTO of W4-Net Lab.S. K. pp. Vol. [39] Y. Wireless Networks (WINET) and Advance on Multimedia (AM) journals.6M Euros Science Foundation IreHERE land Wireless Project with Intel (SFI/03/IN3/I346). He is a research fellow at Hamilton Institute. ACM SIGMOBILE Mobile Computing and Communications Review (MC2R). “Solutions to Performance Problems in VoIP over a 802. working on wireless networking. During the year 1995PHOTO 96.D. and a contributor for the IEEE wireless standards. congestion control and wireless networking. His research areas are wireless networks.D. Sep. Xiao. Cheng and J. He is a co-author of O’Reilly’s ”IPv6 Network Administration”. he was a Senior Research Scientist at the Hamilton PLACE Institute. Thierry Turletti received the M. Y. pp.Sc.

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