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Mechanisms -Rate App1App2 adaptation -MDC -Enhanced sleep mode -Mesh CI utilization mapp -QoS requirements -User type -Service type

IEEE 802.16 WiMAX is anticipated to operate across diverse and formidable circumstances under stringent performance requirements such as reduced delay, jitter, and dropped packets while providing high network utilization. As a potential remedy to alleviate these performance challenges, cross-layer design and optimization beyond layered architecture have been envisioned as in many similar communication systems. In this article some recent cross-layer design and solutions for improving the performance of IEEE 802.16 WiMAX are described. Moreover, a novel routing-scheduling scheme to illustrate the application and realization of the cross-layer paradigm in this domain is presented.

Resource Admission allocator control rtPS nrtP



The authors describe some recent cross-layer designs and solutions for improving the performance of IEEE 802.16 WiMAX.They present a novel routingscheduling scheme to illustrate the application and realization of cross-layer paradigm.

With the introduction of the IEEE 802.16e standard, mobility support has been incorporated into the IEEE 802.16 WiMAX standard family. This enhanced standard is referred to as Mobile WiMAX [1]. With this new capability, Mobile WiMAX has become a competitive wireless broadband communication technology. Additionally, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) endorsed Mobile WiMAX under the IMT-2000 set of standards in October 2007. Furthermore, a new standard has been developed to increase the capabilities of the WiMAX family: IEEE 802.16j. It allows the usage of relay stations (RS) in the point-to-multipoint (PMP) mode that are directly connected to the base station (BS). The role of RSs is to permit subscriber stations (SSs) that cannot be connected to the BS directly to communicate by relaying their transmissions. Therefore, with IEEE 802.16j, the PMP mode allows multiple-hop SSs in the network. Moreover, another standard, IEEE 802.16m, is being developed in order to increase cell bandwidth of both fixed and Mobile WiMAX users using multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) techniques. Mobile WiMAX has two operating modes, PMP and mesh. However, currently only the PMP mode has mobility support. In both modes there are two types of devices in the network: the BS and the SS. In the PMP mode there may

also be mobile subscriber station (MS) devices. The main difference between these two modes lies in the fact that the mesh mode allows SSs to connect to the BS over other SSs as well as by direct connection, while the PMP mode allows only the latter. The mesh mode also allows direct intranet communication between SSs. Network links used for Internet and intranet traffic are called centralized and distributed links, respectively (Fig. 1). These two traffic links are controlled using different scheduling methods: centralized scheduling (CS) for Internet traffic and distributed scheduling (DS) for intranet traffic. The mesh mode provides some substantial advantages over the PMP mode such as increased coverage, larger cell capacity, and higher robustness to non-line-of-sight transmission impairments. However, this comes at the expense of lack of mobility support, less ubiquitous hardware/software compatibility in network nodes, coarser quality of service (QoS) support, and higher system complexity. Following the standardization of WiMAX and the later Mobile WiMAX, numerous improvements have been proposed in the literature for both the PMP and mesh modes. Various crosslayer approaches have been developed to enhance the performance of WiMAX or to construct better, yet unstandardized, components. The contribution of this article is two-fold. First, we provide an up-to-date overview of these crosslayer developments and designs. Then we introduce a novel cross-layer scheme for WiMAX mesh mode to illustrate the application and consequent benefits of the cross-layer paradigm. We explain our cross-layer routing scheduling method, centralized-distributed queue-aware routing (CDQAR), which aims to increase the Internet traffic capacity during congestion in the mesh mode. It serves as an example of crosslayer approaches applied to WiMAX. The rest of the article is organized as follows. In the next section general cross-layer concepts for wireless communications are explained. This section also provides an overview of recent cross-layer approaches regarding WiMAX. We then describe and evaluate our cross-layer routing scheduling approach to the WiMAX mesh mode and present simulation results. Finally, the article is concluded in the last section.


1536-1284/10/$25.00 2010 IEEE

IEEE Wireless Communications June 2010


In layered architectures, networks are organized as a stack of layers (or levels) operating in a hierarchical setting. The main benefit of this design is modularity and abstraction. However, it has been widely recognized that cross-layer optimization can substantially mitigate redundant overhead, and thus improve system performance. The constraints and parameter values exchanged among different layers, processes, or modules in the system (packet size, delay, channel conditions, etc.) can be utilized in the context of wireless networks. This has even led to the more extreme concept of layerless communications . Hence, there has been an avalanche of crosslayer design proposals for wireless networks, leading to the popularity of cross-layered communication protocols. This trend is also due to the stricter performance requirements addressing QoS and ubiquitous migration to wireless communication media. Srivastava et al . note three main reasons that motivate the network designers to violate the layered architecture: the unique problems created by wireless links, the possibility of opportunistic communication on wireless links, and the new modalities of communication offered by the wireless medium [2]. The main idea behind cross-layer design is to integrate the resources and information available in the different fractures and to create a system that can be highly adaptive and QoS-efficient by sharing state information between different processes or modules in the system. On the other hand, the cross-layer design motivation generally leads to substantially increased coupling between system components and monolithic structures less open to evolution. Moreover, various requirements on signaling and control for some cross-layer designs may cause hardware-native solutions with less ubiquity. Since the new protocols and systems based on cross-layer design come into play with incumbent peers in operation, backward compatibility may be compromised. The increased complexity of processing and communication also has the drawback of higher cost in terms of processing and power consumption as well as more challenging implementations. Following the trend of cross-layer design adoption in wireless networks, there have been some cross-layer-design-based proposals/solutions for enhancing the performance of Mobile WiMAX. In this section we provide a concise survey of related activity, classifying the research and work into groups reflecting their domains. The cross-layer functionalities explained in this article and their interactions in the protocol stack are summarized in Fig. 2.





SS8 SS10

Centralized link (Internet traffic) Distributed link (intranet traffic)

Figure 1. A sample IEEE 802.16 WiMAX mesh topology. lation and coding (AMC) method that can alter modulation and coding rates of a connection based on the state of the wireless link. If the current modulation and coding rate causes too many packet drops and long delays, both the SS and BS can force one another into switching to a more robust one. This flexibility provides a physical layer mechanism against link impairments. While the WiMAX standard defines which modulation and coding rates are supported in this AMC method, it does not incorporate a framework regarding how to use it. A wirelessmedium-aware BS scheduler has been developed in [14] considering this unstandardized aspect. This scheduler uses the physical (PHY) layer information gathered from an SS when deciding whether to send packets to that SS or not. If the channel is in a bad state (i.e., packets are likely to be lost in the medium), the BS does not allocate bandwidth for connections using this channel. For the sake of fairness among SSs, whenever a packet cannot be sent to an SS due to unfavorable channel conditions, its priority in the BS queue increases. Thus, when a formerly bad channel recovers, the packets that could not be sent earlier are transmitted before other packets. A similar proposal, but this time with a focus on QoS, has been described in [15]. Tian et al. propose a cross-layer scheduling strategy for IEEE 802.16 that considers the information on wireless channel conditions obtained through SSs to enhance system throughput while ensuring fairness per connection and prescribed QoS requirements. It aims to use the bandwidth efficiently by exploiting multiuser diversity among connections with different kinds of services, and finally optimizes the trade-off between throughput and fairness. The simulation results indicate that the proposed scheduler can provide diverse QoS guarantees, use the bandwidth efficiently, and achieve an optimal trade-off between throughput and fairness. In [5] Triantafyllopoulou et al . propose a cross-layer mechanism that can improve real-

The dynamic and volatile state of the wireless medium marks the most important difference between wireline and wireless networks. Higherlayer algorithms and mechanisms should take this network property into account for their decisions. In WiMAX the medium access control (MAC) layer is designed with an adaptive modu-

IEEE Wireless Communications June 2010


The handover procedure of Mobile WiMAX is a break-before-make mechanism that is very similar to the handover mechanisms in current second generation (2G) networks (e.g., GSM).

Application layer -Wireless medium aware multimedia streaming [3, 4] -Link condition aware encoding [5]

Transport layer

-Application type aware scheduling [6] -Multicasting based on the mesh topology [7]

-Transport layer protocol aware uplink/downlink scheduler [8] -Transport layer parameter aware scheduler [9]

Network layer

-Integrated WiMAX and IP handover [10, 11] -Routing based on the L2 mesh topology -Dynamic routing using the load on the mesh links to increase capacity [12, 13]

Data link layer -Wireless medium aware scheduling [14, 15] -Link condition aware subchannel allocation [16] -Location aware subchannel allocation [17]

PHY layer

WiMAX protocol stack

Figure 2. Common cross-layer functionalities for WiMAX described in this work and their interactions in the protocol stack. time QoS provisioning over IEEE 802.16 networks. This mechanism utilizes information provided by the PHY and MAC layers. Using a heuristic algorithm, it derives new operational parameters for the PHY and application layers, which can improve the performance of real-time applications. The main idea is to coordinate the adaptive modulation capability of the PHY and the multirate data encoding capability of modern real-time applications in order to avoid inefficiencies caused by their independent operation. The proposed mechanism can assist IEEE 802.16 systems in adapting to frequent channel and traffic changes, leading to considerably reduced packet loss rates, especially under heavy traffic conditions. The orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) PHY of IEEE 802.16 defines two subchannel building methods: diversity permutation and contiguous permutation (AMC subchannel). In [16] Wan et al. propose a joint packet scheduling and subchannel allocation scheme applicable for the IEEE 802.16e OFDMA AMC subchannel. Since it is a multiuser, multiservice, and multichannel packetswitched system, the authors define a distinct scheduling priority for each packet on each subchannel that integrates MAC QoS requirements, service type, and PHY channel state information (CSI). Based on these scheduling priorities and the specific scheduling mechanism, their scheme achieves efficient QoS guaranteed resource allocation and outperforms throughput-oriented maximum carrier/interference (MCI) and QoSoriented priority schemes under various conditions. A cross-layer approach based on PHY-layeraware MAC can also be used to decrease intercell interference between neighboring WiMAX cells and increase effective capacity. Qi et al . define such a BS scheduler in [17] that allocates OFDMA subchannels to SSs in a way that decreases interference between SSs of neighboring BSs. In this work the SSs belonging to a cell are divided into two categories: cell center users (CCUs) and cell edge users (CEUs). Since CCUs are too far away from neighboring cells, all subchannels available to the cell can be allocated to these users. On the other hand, when a particular subchannel is allocated to a CEU, the CEUs of the neighboring cells should not be given allocations with the same subchannel in order to avoid possible interference. The proposed BS scheduler is aware of the physical locations of the users and allocates subchannels according to their relative positions within the cell. However, BSs are not normally aware of the subchannel allocations of nearby BSs. Thus, the authors con-


IEEE Wireless Communications June 2010

sider a distributed system architecture where nearby BSs are managed by radio network controllers (RNCs). These RNCs decide which subchannels should be made available for each cell based on that cells load and interference patterns.

Mobility The handover procedure of Mobile WiMAX is a break-before-make mechanism that is very similar to the handover mechanisms in current second-generation (2G) networks (e.g., Global Service for Mobile Communications [GSM]). Before the handover procedure starts, the MS that plans to make a handover first scans nearby target BSs with ranging packets. After deciding on a target BS for handover, the MS severs its connection with its serving BS and enters the handover procedure with the selected target BS. This procedure requires too much time for seamless handover. For Mobile WiMAX to be a competitive wireless broadband technology, the handover procedure should be improved significantly to facilitate shorter delays, especially for high-bandwidth connections. There are optional cross-layer ranging methods in Mobile WiMAX that aim to reduce the handover latency by sending some of the ranging packets through a tunnel between an MSs serving BS and target BS. In [18] an advanced handover mechanism is proposed that defines how the ranging packets can be sent using the backbone network. This method also allows sending other initialization stage packets (registration and basic capability packets) through the backbone to reduce handover latency. The key idea behind the proposed scheme is to use the network layer to redirect and relay MAC layer messages sent during handover. As a standard that defines only the first two open system interconnect (OSI) layers, Mobile WiMAX handles only the MAC layer handover. Interdomain handover should be handled by the network layer. Since both of these handover mechanisms use similar parameters and have common objectives, they can be merged into a single cross-layer handover mechanism. Such a handover procedure is developed in [10, 11]. In the former work Chen et al . integrate the handover procedures of both layers for a complete handover solution in an IPv6 network using the fast mobile IPv6 handover mechanism. In the latter work Han et al. similarly incorporate these two handover procedures based on the handover approach developed for heterogeneous networks in IEEE 802.21 for a more unified solution. In the literature the most important performance metric of a handover procedure is generally considered to be the overall handover latency. In [19] Yeh et al. argue that, in addition to this metric, the cost of the handover is also important. They show that the address table changes in the handover procedure are the foremost factor of the handover cost. Mesh Mode In the mesh mode of IEEE 802.16, there is a tree topology consisting of the BS as the root and the SSs as the other nodes. During network entry, each SS chooses its neighbor whose hop count to the BS is less than all other

neighboring nodes as its parent node. If there is more than one neighboring node with the same hop count, the selection is based on the link qualities between the SS and the potential parent nodes. Internet traffic in both directions is relayed through these parent nodes. Also, SSs have direct connections to their neighboring SSs. For carrying traffic between two neighboring SSs, these direct connections are used. Using the control information inside the control packets, each SS knows the whole tree structure. However, an SS only knows its neighbors and their neighbors (two-hop neighbors). Thus, traffic between two SSs that are at least three hops distant cannot be sent as intranet traffic and must be relayed through the BS. A network layer protocol can be built that can retrieve this neighborhood information from the MAC layer and build a routing tree accordingly. Thus, instead of transmitting through the BS, these intranet traffic streams can be sent using the distributed links in the network. In the IEEE 802.16 standard, Internet traffic is carried between SSs and the BS using CS. In this scheduling mode, transmission slots are allocated to SSs by the BS. At each given slot only a single SS can send its packets. However, due to the mesh topology, there can be cases where more than one SS can send its packets in the same slot without causing interference to each other. This space divisioning approach in CS is investigated in detail in the literature. For instance, Chen et al . developed a cross-layer approach to optimize the performance of this space divisioning gain [12]. They developed a load-aware routing tree construction method that allows reconstructing the routing tree periodically based on the loads of the SSs in order to find the best routing tree structure. At each period, the BS calculates the potential gain from utilizing space divisioning for the current routing tree, and then it checks whether there are any alternative routing trees that have higher space divisioning gain. In that case, the BS changes the routing tree accordingly. An alternative cross-layer routing approach can be based on the loads of the links. In case of high load on a link, the routing table of the SS can be altered so that other links are used to avoid the congested link. A routing-scheduling solution, CDQAR, developed for this purpose is described in the next section.

A network layer protocol can be built which can retrieve this neighborhood information from the MAC layer and build a routing tree accordingly. Thus, instead of transmitting through the BS, these intranet traffic streams can be sent using the distributed links in the network.

Most of the applications used in a broadband wireless access network use either TCP or UDP in the transport layer. Whenever a TCP connection is established between two nodes, a second connection for the acknowledgment (ACK) packets should be established in the reverse direction. However, such an ACK connection is not necessary for a UDP connection. If the schedulers are made aware of the transport layer protocol used in each connection, they can take action based on the type of protocol to increase the overall performance of the transmission. Also, current TCP variants (e.g., TCP Vegas) have several parameters such as initial window size, window increase/decrease rate, and retransmission policy that have subtle effects on the

IEEE Wireless Communications June 2010


Since different applications generate different types of traffic, this queuesize based approach might be inadequate for some applications. Using a cross-layer approach, the MAC layer can be informed about the type of application the packets belong to and request bandwidth accordingly.

overall performance. A link layer protocol that is aware of these parameters can generate scheduling decisions using these TCP parameters. Likewise, based on the link layer information, the TCP variant can tune its parameters according to the condition of the link layer. This bidirectional adaptation can help the system to mitigate packet loss and congestion, and increase throughput and fairness among flows.

In typical layered protocol stacks, the MAC layer has no information about the type of application to which the packets in its queue belong. Without any additional information about the source of the application, the MAC layer can only use its queue information when requesting bandwidth from the BS. Since different applications generate different types of traffic, this queue-size-based approach might be inadequate for some applications. Using a cross-layer approach, the MAC layer can be informed about the type of application to which the packets belong and request bandwidth accordingly. The following solutions are summarized in Fig. 3.

PMP Mode Each downlink and uplink request is known by the BS in this mode. This property can be utilized by making the BS scheduler aware of the transport layer protocol that will be used for the request in hand. Whenever a connection using TCP is admitted to the network, the BS scheduler can also grant traffic in the reverse direction for ACK packet traffic for faster connection setup. Chiang et al . address this issue and develop a cross-layer BS scheduler that takes the transport layer protocol into account when admitting a connection request [8]. When this proactive scheduler admits a request from a TCP based application, it also allocates bandwidth in the reverse direction for ACK messaging. However, this work only considers best effort (BE) traffic. The same approach can be implemented for other scheduling services in order to improve transport layer performance. A TCP-parameter-aware MAC layer incorporating several mechanisms is proposed in [9]. First, a BS scheduler that is aware of TCP window size is developed. It allocates bandwidth according to the current window sizes of the traffic flows, and tries to avoid traffic starvation and unnecessary window size decrease due to incorrect bandwidth allocation. Also, the authors argue that the forward and backward flows of TCP traffic (where the forward flow represents the actual data traffic and the backward flow entails the ACK packets) should use different modulation-coding tuples and ARQ policies. They propose to use less robust modulation and enabling ARQ for the forward traffic, and more robust modulations and disabling ARQ for the backward traffic. Using robust modulations for backward traffic is a more appropriate choice since for each lost ACK packet, the window size is reduced, which in turn further decreases the speed of the transmission. ARQ is not crucial for a robust modulated traffic flow and contributes slightly to the performance, where it induces unnecessary MAC layer overhead. However, the effect of a lost data packet is different from the effect of a lost ACK packet. Although the modulation is less robust for forward traffic and thus some packet losses are expected, the performance gain due to ARQ compensates for this drawback and justifies the additional overhead. Mesh Mode Similar to the PMP mode, the centralized and distributed schedulers in the mesh mode can open a second connection whenever they admit an application using TCP in the transport layer. Since the request/grant delay of the mesh mode is higher than that of the PMP mode, this type of cross-layer approach can improve the network performance, especially for bursty traffic conditions.

PMP Mode The PMP mode associates a scheduling service type for each connection. In the convergence sublayer of the MAC layer, different higher-layer transmissions are mapped into connections with different scheduling services based on their QoS requirements and application types. Using these different connections, an SS can request bandwidth on a connection basis. This mapping from higher-layer transmission to connection enables some cross-layer capability in the PMP mode of WiMAX. However, these methods do not take several issues into account, such as multicast/broadcast applications and the state of the wireless medium. In case of a multicast application targeting several SSs in the network, the BS should use a multicasting connection in order to utilize the bandwidth more efficiently. An additional capability for multicasting applications should be incorporated into the convergence sublayer in order to save bandwidth. Also, for some applications the state of the PHY layer might be valuable information for traffic shaping. In [3] Juan et al . develop a method that forwards the load and the state of the PHY layer to the streaming server in case of a video streaming application. The streaming server uses this first- and secondlayer information to adapt its transmission rate so that both congestion and dropped packet rates in the network are reduced. In addition to this mechanism, the authors propose sending video packets of different priorities using connections with scheduling services appropriate for the importance of these packets. If there is congestion in the network, the BS takes priority into account and first drops less important packets to reduce the load. Consequently, the video streaming application relatively suffers less and maintains better quality. Usage of scalable video and multiple description coding (MDC) for a cross-layer approach is studied by She et al. in [4]. In this work multicast scalable video streams are coded using superposition coding (SCM) in which the signals belonging to different video layers are encoded with different modulation techniques. In a scalable video stream, frames of the video stream are separated into layers based on importance. Important layers are encoded with robust modulation techniques (i.e., binary phase shift keying, BPSK), whereas less important layers are encoded with less robust but high data rate ones (i.e.,


IEEE Wireless Communications June 2010

System view Mechanisms -Rate App1App2 AppN adaptation -MDC -Enhanced sleep mode -Mesh CID utilization mapping -QoS requirements -User type -Service type Application layer

WiMAX protocol stack view

Upper layers

Network layer

CS SAP MAC feedback Data link layer (DLL) Resource Admission QoS allocator control manager rtPS nrtPS Service-specific convergence sublayer (CS) MAC SAP UGS ertPS Scheduler PHY feedback Security sublayer Bitstream 1 PHY PHY SAP PHY BE MAC common part sublayer (MAC CPS)

-Map external data from the upper layers into MAC service data units (SDUs) -Service flow identifier (SFID) -Connection identifier (CID) -Bandwidth allocation -Connection establishment -QoS management -Authentication -Key management -Encryption -Coding -Modulation -Physical transmission

PHY layer

1 : PHY state such as per symbol capacity and channel quality indicator 2 : MAC layer information such as queue lengths

Figure 3. Application oriented cross-layer solutions.

64-quadrature amplitude modulation [QAM]). These encodings are superimposed to form the final signal sent from the BS to the SSs. Each SS decodes this signal according to the best available modulation level based on the current channel condition. SSs that have good channel quality decode the signal completely and receive all layers to form the highest quality video. On the other hand, SSs that are currently in bad channel state decode only the robustly modulated parts of the superimposed signal and the resulting video is of low quality. Using superpositioning, the BS sends one signal to all SSs in the multicasting group, instead of sending different signals for each modulation level. Since an SS decodes the signal based on its current channel condition, this method protects SSs from the deficiencies caused by short-term fading. Also, SSs periodically send their channel states to the BS in this method. The BS uses this feedback information on channel state and decides which modulations should be used for each layer of the video stream. QoS in WiMAX can be maintained using different scheduling services addressing different application types. As part of the applicationlayer-based cross-layer approach, Chang et al. develop a new scheduling service (QrtPS) for mobile WiMAX, especially for real-time traffic (e.g., video traffic) [6]. Connections using this scheduling service can be polled by the BS in a unicast fashion under normal working conditions. However, if the network is heavily loaded,

they are polled in a multicast fashion. In this case the application layer is notified about the network load and is requested to decrease the quality of the video codec. When the network switches back to low load, high-quality codecs can be used again.

Mesh Mode In contrast to the PMP mode, bandwidth is not requested on a connection basis and scheduling services do not exist in the mesh mode. Therefore, although the higherlayer packets can be dispatched into different connections in the convergence sublayer, only a single bandwidth request can be sent for each link in the mesh mode. Moreover, the tree structure in the centralized scheduling method can be used for video multicasting. Xie et al. develop a cross-layer framework for multicasting video-ondemand (VoD) applications in the mesh mode of WiMAX [7]. Their framework includes an admission control method for VoD applications, and uses the tree structure to optimize VoD traffic in the network. There is no bandwidth request algorithm for DS in the WiMAX standard. In DS, SSs request bandwidth using two fields: demand level, which describes the bandwidth request in each MAC frame, and demand persistence, which describes the number of frames the traffic persists. Using a cross-layer approach, a distributed scheduler can be designed to tune these two fields based on the application. For example, if an SS wants to open a voice channel with a neighboring SS,

IEEE Wireless Communications June 2010



The mesh mode of WiMAX carries both Internet and intranet traffic. While providing Internet access is the primary goal, considerable intranet traffic is also expected as a result of emergent user behavior such as peer-to-peer communications. In this mode the data subframe is divided in two parts: CS and DS. These parts are used for Internet and intranet traffic, respectively. The size of the data subframe reserved for CS and DS is determined by the BS. Being a broadband access network, most of the traffic in the system consists of Internet traffic. Therefore, based on the load in the CS part of the data subframe, the BS should change the CS-DS allocation of the data subframe. However, according to the standard, the BS has no means for determining the utilization of the DS part of the data subframe. Also, the CS-DS allocation changes cannot be performed dynamically. Thus, the BS cannot use the CS-DS configuration to cope with congestion. Considering these issues, we develop a cross-layer method called CDQAR that allows adaptive usage of the DS part of the data subframe for Internet traffic in case of congestion in the CS part. Our method does not alter any MAC layer mechanisms of the IEEE 802.16 standard. CDQAR is an enhanced version of our previous scheme, centralized queue-aware routing (CQAR), with a more sophisticated congestion detection algorithm leading to better performance [13]. CQAR uses the queue length of the centralized queue for congestion detection. However, this parameter may not be effective in certain conditions. Thus, we developed CDQAR, which takes into consideration not only the centralized queue length but also the queue lengths of the distributed links in the network. CDQAR is a routing-scheduling algorithm that alters the Internet traffic routing based on the queue length information retrieved from the MAC layer to combat network congestion. In this method, if an SS has more than one potential parent node, a second node among the potential parent nodes is selected as the pseudoparent during the initialization of the SS. In case of congestion in the CS part, the SS changes the routing of its Internet traffic from its parent node to its pseudo-parent node. Since the link between the SS and its pseudo-parent node is a distributed link, the centralized link usage for this nodes Internet traffic decreases as depicted in Fig. 4. Thus, the total traffic introduced to the CS part decreases, and the system goes back to an uncongested state. In order not to hinder the intranet traffic unnecessarily, the SS switches back its routing of Internet traffic from its pseudo-parent to its parent node when the congestion in the CS part is over. While determining the existence of congestion, CDQAR uses the length of the MAC layer queue for the centralized link. When the queue length of this link exceeds a certain threshold, denoted as centralized link congestion threshold (CLCth), the SS starts to route all of its Internet


BS SS4 SS1 Centralized link (Internet traffic) Distributed link (intranet traffic)

Figure 4. Internet traffic routing for uncongested and congested cases (solid arrows: uncongested; dotted arrow: SS6 switching to pseudo-parent since CS is congested).

the request might have a small demand level value but a large demand persistence value. On the other hand, if the traffic belongs to a burst in an HTTP or FTP flow, the demand level value might be large while the second field is kept at a smaller value.

Mobility MSs have limited battery power due to physical constraints and mobility. In order to increase the operational lifetime of a Mobile WiMAX device, the IEEE 802.16e standard includes a sleep mode mechanism. With this mechanism, an MS can switch off its transceiver when it does not have any traffic to send and receive. During this interval, any packet that is destined to the sleeping MS is kept in a queue in the BS. These packets are sent to the MS when it wakes up and goes back to active mode. The sleep mode mechanism can also be utilized in conjunction with application types in a cross-layer setting. According to the application, the MS can predict its sleep duration and program its sleep cycle. For instance, less dynamic traffic sources such as file transfer may require shorter and less frequent sleep cycles, whereas bursty traffic sources such as web browsing are more likely to induce more frequent sleep cycles. There is a considerable amount of work regarding the sleep mode in the literature. In these papers various methods are developed to increase the efficiency of this mechanism. However, there are few papers regarding a crosslayer approach to increase energy efficiency. Cohen et al . develop a cross-layer method to increase energy efficiency for multicasting applications [20]. In this work the authors propose that SSs receiving the same multicast streams should enable their sleep modes synchronously to minimize the energy usage in the whole network. They also propose using PHY layer information to decide on sleep times.


IEEE Wireless Communications June 2010

traffic through its pseudo-parent. The CDQAR also checks the queue length of the distributed links. If any of these queue lengths exceeds a threshold denoted as distributed link congested threshold (DLCth), it infers that at least one distributed link is in use, and the SS cannot use its pseudo-parent for Internet traffic. Using these values as decision parameters, CDQAR can handle both short-term and longterm congestion. However, as a downside, this approach can only handle distributed traffic initiated from the node itself. If a one-hop neighbor node is trying to send a packet to the node that uses its pseudo-parent, CDQAR cannot sense the congestion in the distributed links. Also, in the case of traffic between a one-hop neighbor and a one- or two-hop neighbor, congestion in this traffic cannot be detected by CDQAR. We test our proposed solution in a moderately dense topology consisting of one BS and 10 SSs as illustrated in Fig. 5. The channel bandwidth is selected to be 20 MHz and the data transmissions are carried out using 64-QAM modulation with 3/4 coding rate. Other simulation parameters are as they appear in our previous work [13]. The results are depicted in Fig. 6. In case of congestion in the centralized links, the three-hop SSs suffer high end-to-end (ETE) delays and packet drops. During the three congestion periods, the ETE delays of all three three-hop SSs increase dramatically. In CDQAR, after the first time the centralized link queues of SS8 and SS10 exceed 30 percent of the capacity of the queue, both SS8 and SS10 use their alternative routes until there is congestion in their distributed links. Thus, the same Internet traffic is sent using first two (in the first congestion period), then one (in the second and third congestion periods) less centralized links, and the system does not suffer congestion again. Since the second and third congestion periods are completely avoided, the downlink ETE delays of all three-hop SSs revert to their uncongested values in these periods. CDQAR performs far more efficiently in terms of uplink ETE delay than the conventional scheme. After the first route shifting, SS8 always uses its pseudo-parent for its Internet traffic since it does not have any distributed traffic. However, SS 10 reverts back to using its parent node after t = 25 s when it starts generating intranet traffic to SS9. Thus, its delay increases again after t = 25 s. However, since SS8 does not revert back to its initial Internet route, the total load in the network is reduced, and the centralized link of SS10 does not become congested in the second and third congestion periods. Thus, it does not need to use its pseudo-parent. Unlike Internet traffic, CDQAR slightly increases the ETE delay of intranet traffic. When CDQAR senses that a high queue length is reached in the distributed links, it switches back to its original route not to hinder the intranet traffic. In the second and third congestion periods, since SS8 does not need to use its pseudo-parent as stated above, the intranet traffic does not suffer any additional delay. Overall, CDQAR considerably improves the performance of WiMAX in the mesh mode using


SS8 Centralized link (Internet traffic) Distributed link (intranet traffic)





Figure 5. Simulation topology consisting of one BS and 10 SSs in mesh mode with distributed (dashed) and centralized (solid) links.

an adaptive cross-layer approach, as the simulation results show. This routing-scheduling scheme also illustrates how to realize the potential benefits of cross-layer design with minimal impact on the incumbent WiMAX protocol stack.

In this article we survey recent cross-layer approaches for IEEE 802.16 and discuss their applications. We also present some open issues and research directions regarding the application of the cross-layer paradigm to Mobile WiMAX. The cross-layer design is crucial in order to address the formidable and diverse operating conditions and applications expected to drive the adoption of WiMAX in practical systems. Consequently, we propose and briefly describe a novel cross-layer scheme, CDQAR. We also highlight the potential benefits that are attainable via cross-layer design in IEEE 802.16 mesh networks.

This work has been supported by the State Planning Organization (DPT) of the Republic of Turkey under the project TAM, with project number 2007K120610 and partially supported by the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) under grant number 108E101.

[1] IEEE 802.16, IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks Part 16: Air Interface for Fixed and Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Systems Amendment 2 Physical and Medium Access Control Layers for Combined Fixed and Mobile Operation in Licensed Bands and Corrigendum 1, 2006. [2] V. Srivastava and M. Motani, Cross-Layer Design: A Survey and The Road Ahead, IEEE Commun. Mag., vol. 43, no. 12, 2005, pp. 71221. [3] H.-H. Juan et al., Cross-Layer System Designs for Scalable Video Streaming over Mobile WiMAX, IEEE WCNC 07, 2007, pp. 186064. [4] J. She et al ., A Cross-Layer Design Framework for Robust IPTV Services over IEEE 802.16 Networks, IEEE JSAC, vol. 27, no. 2, 2009, pp. 23545.

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3.5 3

Conventional (: 0.71, : 0.69) CDQAR (: 0.05, : 0.11)


Conventional (: 0.68, : 0.65) CDQAR (: 0.24, : 0.39)

2 2.5 ETE delay (s) ETE delay (s) 2 1.5 1 0.5 0.5 0 0 0 50 100 Simulation time (s) (a) 3 2.5 Conventional (: 0.69, : 0.62) CDQAR (: 0.11, : 0.22) 0.1 0.09 0.08 0.07 ETE delay (s) 0.06 0.05 0.04 0.03 0.02 0.01 0 0 0 50 100 Simulation time (s) (c) 150 200 20 40 60 80 100 120 Simulation time (s) (d) 140 160 180 150 200 1.5


100 Simulation time (s) (b)



Conventional (: 0.02, : 0.02) CDQAR (: 0.05, : 0.21)

2 ETE delay (s)



Figure 6. Simulation results: a) ETE delay of SS8 (uplink Internet traffic); b) ETE delay of SS9 (uplink Internet traffic); c) ETE delay of SS10 (uplink Internet traffic); d) ETE delay (Intranet traffic SS10-SS9)
[5] D. Triantafyllo p oulou et al ., A Heuristic Cross-layer Mechanism for Real-time Traffic in IEEE 802.16 Networks, IEEE 18th PIMRC 07, 2007, pp. 15. [6] B.-J. Chang and C.-M. Chou, Cross-Layer Based Delayconstraint Adaptive Polling for High Density Subscribers in IEEE 802.16 WiMAX Networks, Wireless Personal Commun., vol. 46, no. 3, 2008, pp. 285304. [7] F. Xie, K. A. Hua, and N. Jiang, A Cross-Layer Framework for Video-on-Demand Service in Multi-hop WiMAX Mesh Networks, Comp. Commun ., vol. 31, no. 8, 2008, pp. 161526. [8] C.-H. Chiang, W. Liao, and T. Liu, Ada p tive Downlink/Uplink Bandwidth Allocation in IEEE 802.16 (WiMAX) Wireless Networks: A Cross-Layer Approach, IEEE GLOBECOM 07, 2007, pp. 477579. [9] X. Yang, M. Venkatachalam, and S. Mohanty, Exploiting the MAC Layer Flexibility of WiMAX to Systematically Enhance TCP Performance, IEEE Mobile WiMAX Symp. 07, 2007, pp. 6065. [10] Y.-W. Chen and F.-Y. Hsieh, A Cross Layer Design for Handoff in 802.16e Network with IPv6 Mobility, IEEE WCNC 07, 2007, pp. 384449. [11] Y.-H. Han et al., A Cross-Layering Design for IPv6 Fast Handover Support in an IEEE 802.16e Wireless MAN, IEEE Network, vol. 21, no. 6, 2007, pp. 5462. [12] L.-W. Chen et al., Exploiting Spectral Reuse in Routing, Resource Allocation, and Scheduling for IEEE 802.16 Mesh Networks, IEEE Trans. Vehic. Tech., vol. 58, no. 1, 2009, pp. 30113. [13] M. S. Kuran et al., Cross-Layer Routing-Scheduling in IEEE 802.16 Mesh Networks, 1st MOBILWARE 08 , 2008, pp. 16. [14] A. Lera, A. Molinaro, and S. Pizzi, Channel-Aware Scheduling for QoS and Fairness Provisioning in IEEE 802.16/WiMAX Broadband Wireless Access Systems, IEEE Network, vol. 21, no. 5, 2007, pp. 3441. [15] C. Tian and D. Yuan, A Novel Cross-layer Scheduling Algorithm for IEEE 802.16 WMAN, IWCLD 07, 2007, pp. 7073. [16] L. Wan, W. Ma, and Z. Guo, A Cross-Layer Packet Scheduling and Subchannel Allocation Scheme in 802.16e OFDMA System, IEEE WCNC 07 , 2007, pp . 186570. [17] Y. Qi, X. Zhong, and J. Wang, A Downlink Radio Resource Allocation Algorithm with Fractional Frequency Reuse and Guaranteed Diverse QoS for Multi-Cell WiMAX System, 3rd CHINACOM 08 , 2008, pp . 28994. [18] L. Chen et al., A Cross-Layer Fast Handover Scheme for Mobile WiMAX, IEEE 66th VTC-Fall 07, 2007, pp. 157882. [19] J.-H. Yeh, J.-C. Chen, and P. Agrawal, Fast Intra-Network and Cross-Layer Handover (FINCH) for WiMAX and Mobile Internet, IEEE Trans. Mobile Comp., vol. 8, no. 4, 2009, pp. 55874. [20] R. Cohen, L. Katzir, and R. Rizzi, On the Trade-off Between Energy and Multicast Efficiency in 802.16e-like Mobile Networks, IEEE Trans. Mobile Comp ., vol. 7, no. 3, 2008, pp. 34657.

MEHMET SUKRU KURAN ( received his B.S. degree in com p uter engineering from Yildiz Technical University, Turkey, in 2004 and his M.S. degree in systems and control engineering from Bogazici Univer-


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sity, Turkey, in 2007. He is currently studying as a Ph.D. student in the Com p uter Engineering De p artment of Bogazici University. He also works as a research assistant in the same de p artment. His research interests are molecular communications, nanonetworks, MAC layer mechanisms, and p erformance analysis of wireless LAN and wireless MAN. G RKAN G R ( received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 2001 and M.S. degree in systems and control engineering in 2005, both from Bogazici University. Currently he is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in computer engineering, and working as a researcher at the Telematics Research Center of Bogazici University. His research interests include next-generation wireless networks, optimized wireless multimedia transmission, green networking, and cognitive radio networks. T UNA T UGCU ( received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer engineering from Bogazici University in 1993 and 2001, respectively, his M.S. degree in

com p uter and information science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1994. He worked as a post-doctoral fellow and visiting professor at Georgia Institute of Technology. He is currently an associate p rofessor in the Computer Engineering Department of Bogazici University. His research interests include WiMAX, cognitive radio networks, wireless sensor networks, and molecular communications. FATIH ALAGZ ( is an associate professor in the Computer Engineering Department of Bogazici University. During 20012003 he was with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, United Arab Emirates University. He obtained his B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering in 1992 from Middle East Technical University, Turkey, and his D.Sc. degree in electrical engineering in 2000 from George Washington University, Washington, DC. His current research areas include wireless/mobile/satellite networks, and UWB communications. He has edited various books and p ublished more than 100 scholarly papers in selected journals and conferences.

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