Study on data throughput in 802.

11a WLAN systems
Author. Manish Abraham, Student Number 11033698, Email- manish.abraham@northumbria.ac.uk

Abstract — This report is the consequence of the study on data throughput in the 802.11a WLAN systems, the study has been performed partially theoretically and partially practically. The main aim of the study was to 1) Measure and apprise the system requirements. 2) Designing, deploying and testing a wireless LAN system. 3) Analyze protocol information in a wireless LAN. This paper mainly examines the 802.11 a protocol. Index Terms — IEEE protocol, data through put in 802.11 a, wireless LAN system.

support the theoretical analysis, a practical series of experiments were performed which calculated the actual throughput rates for the system.

I. INTRODUCTION The increase in mobility and flexibility in "the daily routine" has led the development of wireless LANs. Wireless LANs have become an indispensable due to gliding data rates and reduction in costs. Throughput, in comprehensible words, is the rate at which actual useful data is received in the entire payload transfer rate. That is to say if data transfer rate is 1Mbps, and in a payload of 1Mb if 100Kb is useful data and 900Kb accounts for overheads and losses, then throughput is 100Kbps. 802.11 is an IEEE WLAN standard. The IEEE 802.11, 802.11b and 802.11 a, g provides data rate of 2, 11, 54 Mbps [1]. The ever increasing need to develop and to obtain unique bandwidth and faster throughput rates IEEE projected 802.11n standards, which builds upon the previous standards, but adds on MIMO (multiple in and multiple out) thus offering an extremely high through put transmission rate between 100 -200 Mbps and claims to have throughput of 600 Mbps [2]. IEEE perpetually amends the data rates, but in reality, the actual throughput is lower than the data rates owing to MAC overheads, CSMA/CA, PHY overheads and other overheads. In WLAN overheads are more than wired LAN. This is for the simple reason that wireless media is unsecure and prone to more errors than wired media. To store the data secure and to have an error-free recovery, "protocol developers" have put these overheads, like the MAC layer. In this paper, a theoretical and practical model is developed which describes the data throughput in an 802.11a network. To A propagation of 802.11 in a 5GHz band provides speed up to 54 Mbps and is common in the application of wireless LANs is 802.11a. Instead of FHSS or DSSS in case of 802.11a for encoding we use something known as orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM). Practical application of 802.11a specification includes access hubs as well as wireless ATM systems. II. THEORETICAL THROUGHPUT DEVELOPMENT

An Optional Point Coordination Function and a Distributed Coordination Function known as MAC protocol with binary exponential back off with carrier sense multiple access along with collision avoidance (CSMA/CA) is employed in case of IEEE802.11 [3]. It works on two different ways; 1. Firstly the station needs to detect the channel before it starts to transmit, if the channel is idle then the station will wait for DIFS before transmitting. Incase the channel is detected the station will use the back off timer to delay the data. The process continues till the back off time reaches zero, then the station sends the data packet, then it passes the data to ACK and followed by the SIFS.

2. In order to apply media occupancy before the station sends the packet to the receiver it is send to the RTS frame which is the request to send frame.

Classification of 802.11 a.
TMT is categorized on various MAC schemes, fundamental data rates & spread spectrum technologies. The fundamental need of this category arises due to various values of minimum contention window size (CWmin), & inter-frame spacing (IFS). Two sets of TMTs are measured in MAC schemes, one for RTS/CTS & one for CSMA/CA. There are different spread spectrum technologies which enhance the calculations like (OFDM) orthogonal frequency division multiplexing, (DSSS) direct sequence spread spectrum, (FHSS) frequency hopping spread spectrum. In 802.11a we can use data rates of 6Mbps, 12Mbps, 24Mbps, & the maximum data rate used is 54 Mbps. The other layers include (PMD) Physical medium dependent sub layer & (PLCP) physical layer convergence protocol sub layer. A Protocol data unit is the extent of transmission unit at layer which includes the overhead. We can define (SDU) service data unit as the length of payload that is provided to the upper layer by a layer below it. As the MAC SDU (MSDU) overheads takes place in every intermediate layer then the upper layer pushes the packet data to MAC layer [5].

The receiving station receives after it crosses the SIFS, CTS, SIFS layers. Once the receiving station receives the packets it transmits the ACK followed by the time of SIFS. The two timing diagram has differences, the accurate rates varies for various data rates and spread spectrum technologies. Hence we see so many sources of delay [4].

A. Theoretical maximum throughput (TMT)
In a unit time, the maximum number of MSDU s ie.MAC layer service data units which can be transmitted is defined as the TMT [5]. To develop a theoretical throughput few assumptions need to be undertaken: 1. The theoretical maximum through put would be the maximum throughput achievable (54Mbps for 802.11a). 2. Main Interest lies in the real through put given by the MAC layer. 3. Hiding information between the MAC layer & 802.11a is the transmission control protocol (TCP) or UDP (user datagram protocol) over the IP, over the (LLC) logical link control. Due to overhead accumulation in each layer hence the maximum through put of a layer is lower as the layer gets higher. Maximum throughput observed when no fragmentation was encumbered in the lower layer is under. Where: α = total overhead above MAC. TMT (APP) = TMT of application layer. β = Application datagram size. TMT (802.11) is the TMT of 802.11a MAC layer under following assumptions: a. Bit error rate (BER) is zero. b. There are no collision losses. c. Point coordination function mode is not used. d. None of packet loss occurs due to buffer flooding at the receiving node. e. There are adequate packets to send by the sending node. f. The MAC layer does not use fragmentation. g. Management frames such as beacon & association frames are not considered.

B. Calculations
To calculate the TMT, the overheads in each sub layer needs to be converted in to familiar unit and time. Hence

The data rate within the similar PLCP PDU is not always similar. The data rate of one MAC PDU is ascertained by its type. For backward compatibility RTS, ACK & CTS are transmitted at 1 Mbps. Due to DC-bias suppression scheme the number of PLCP frame bits rises when we use FHSS.

The length of delay element is observed from the IEEE standards [6].

Theoretical Maximum throughput for maximum speed (54 Mbps) 802.11 a.

III. EXPERIMENT SETUP The transmission time will be depending on the MDPU size and the data rate. Since we considered that there were no collisions hence the size of the contention window (CW) does not increase. The total delay is calculated In order to determine the maximum throughput and to achieve success in the study, the analysis conditions should be utmost interference free. So in order to avoid external interface, and to obtain accurate readings, the evaluation was carried out in the anechoic chamber. Hardware Used, Access Point (Linksys WRT610N) USB WNIC (Linksys WUSB600N) Probe WNIC. 3 Computers.

In the format of function

The table shows the values for a & b parameter. Since used 802.11a we use OFDM as the scheme, since we don’t consider any collision we only consider the CSMA/CA scheme. Hence according to the TMT parameters a= 0.14815 & b= 159.94 as we test the maximum speed of 54MB/S.

Through put was measured using Jperf and Iperf traffic generation software. Wireless traffic was transferred between two computers connected individually to AP and to WNIC. Data transfer was monitored using a laptop which had software Omni peek, which was connected, to a probe WNIC. In order to calculate the average and maximum speed more efficiently a network protocol analyzer called Wire Shark was Installed and used efficiently. Wire shark was installed in both the computers. We used the maximum data rate for

IEEE802.11a i.e. 54MB/S the packet size was varied between 300 & 2100 bytes, with a difference of 300 bytes between each reading. We also calculated throughput for varying data rates i.e. 20 MB/S, 40MB/S, 60MB/S & 80MB/s and we compared it with the maximum throughput rate. IV. RESULTS Practical Throughput rates observed for different packet sizes : From the graph above we can see that:  The throughput rate is always lower than the data rate.  The highest throughput rate was observed when the packet size was 1472 bytes.  Till 1472 bytes the throughput rises steadily with rise in packet size, but at 1472 bytes we observed that the throughput suddenly degrades.  The overall throughput remains less than the maximum throughput that was measured. The actual throughput rate in practise is always less than the maximum throughput rate irrespective of the packet size.for e.g. at 600 bytes the maximum throughput was measured as 19.29MB/S but on ground we got the throughput as 16.89MB/S.

The graph below shows the changes in throughput rates with the change in packet size and for different varying data rates of 20, 40, 60 & 80MB/S respectively.

V. DISCUSSION In a unit time, the number of MSDU s ie.MAC layer service data units which can be transmitted is defined as the throughput. The highest value of throughput was observed as 23.32MB/S at the packet size of 1472 bytes, when compared to lower data rates for e.g. 600bytes the throughput rate was 16.89MB/S this is very much evident from the basic formula and because the overhead ratio is small when we transfer small packet sizes. We observed that the throughput rates are always less than the actual data rates. A Mac protocol consists of an Optional Point Coordination Function and a Distributed Coordination Function. The DCF consists of SIFS & DIFS deferral, data transmission ACK frame, and back off, RTC, CTS frame. The distance between the sending station, AP (access point) and receiving station as well as environmental factors and noises are the reason why the throughput rate is always less than the actual data rate. Experimental value of throughput is far less than

The Practical throughput rate and TMT for different Packet sizes for the data rate of 54MB/S:

The graph shows the TMT and the practical gained value for 54 MB/S.

the data rates, and the practice throughput is less than the TMT (theoretic maximum throughput). The peak of the experimental throughput was calculated when the packet size was 1472 bytes then the value of throughput degrades, hence we can say that the efficient packet size is 1472bytes, this can be explained by a study which says that maximum payload data rate can be 1500 bytes for an Ethernet frame. 20 bytes gets reduces as the IP frame and 8 bytes as the UDP frame. When the data packet size becomes larger than 1472 bytes fragmentation occurs and the packet data gets broken in to frames hence reduces the throughput rate [7]. We also observed that the value of throughput rate observed is less than the TMT this is for a reason that when we calculated the TMT we took certain assumptions like: a. Bit error rate (BER) is zero. b. There are no collision losses. c. Point coordination function mode is not used. d. None of packet loss occurs due to buffer flooding at the receiving node. e. There are adequate packets to send by the sending node. f. The MAC layer does not use fragmentation. Management frames such as beacon & association frames are not considered But when it comes to experiment we tried to reduce the external interference of noise by having an anechoic chamber but we can not over rule all these assumptions. The knowledge of maximum through has various applications, which include;  LAN data access, by maximum throughput we can provide sufficient range of coverage.  Optimal network provision which can be used for both data, as well as multimedia applications.  In adhoc networks, it is the primary factor which influences the topological distribution of nodes. VI. CONCLUSION We measured the actual throughput rates for different packet sizes, calculation, of the theoretical maximum throughput of 802.11a network was presented. To extend the pertinence of the results, different packet sizes, physical layer and MAC layer variations were considered. To represent the practical implication of maximum throughput, series of experiments were carried out & it was noticed that practically the throughput rates are remarkably less than the TMT. A wireless LAN system was designed deployed and tested. We observe that the throughput rates rise till 1472 bytes

and then decreases due to fragmentation and also reasons why throughput rate is less than the packet size and experimental through put rate is less then theoretical maximum throughput was discussed. The various application of knowledge of maximum throughput was discussed. The Maximum payload data rate which is also known as the efficient packet size was determined as 1472bytes. For further development consideration would be taken into the 802.11ac standard which takes into consideration the improvement of total network instead of a single link and by providing larger band width along with multi user multiple input multiple output which in 5GHz band gives a data throughput rate of 1 GB/S [8]. . REFERENCES [1] Yang,x& Rosdahl,j. (2002). Throughput and delay limits of IEEE 802.11. Communications Letters, IEEE, 6, 355-357. [2] Mlinarsky, F (2007), 'Testing 802.11n', Test & Measurement World, 27, 3, pp. 35-42, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 3 April 2012. [3] H. Sun, W. Kwok, and J. Zdepski(1996), “Architectures for MPEG compressed bitstream scaling,” IEEE Trans. Circuits Syst. Video Technol., vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 191-199,. [4] Yin J Wang& P Agarwal (2004) Optimal Packet Size in Error-prone Channel for IEEE 802.11 Distributed Coordination Function[Online]Available at:http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&ar number=1311801(Accessed 07/04/12). [5] Jangeun Jun, Pushkin Peddabachagari, Mihail Sichitiu (2003) Theoretical Maximum Throughput of IEEE 802.11 and its Applications, Available at: http://morse.colorado.edu/~timxb/5520/ho/MaxThru 802112003.pdf viewed on 15 march 2012 [6] IEEE, Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specification. IEEE Std. 802.11, June, 2007. [7] Garg, S and Kappes, M. (2003) An Experimental Study of Throughput for UDP and VoIP Traffic in IEEE 802.11b Networks. [Online] Available at: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnu mber=1200651 [8] Richard van nee (2011) Breaking the gigabyte-persecong barrier with 802.11 ac [Online] Available at :http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumbe r=05751287 Viewed on 16 April 2012.

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