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Journal of Network and Computer Applications 34 (2011) 765–773

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Journal of Network and Computer Applications

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Cross-layer QoS support framework and holistic opportunistic scheduling

for QoS in single carrier WiMAX system
Jinchang Lu n, Maode Ma
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

a r t i c l e in f o abstract

Article history: Providing Quality of Service (QoS) to different service classes with real-time and non-real-time traffic
Received 7 February 2010 integration is an important issue in WiMAX systems. Opportunistic MAC (OMAC) is a novel view of
Received in revised form communication over spatiotemporally varying wireless links. It combines the features of a cross-layer
5 September 2010
design and an opportunistic scheduling scheme to achieve high utilization while providing QoS to various
Accepted 11 October 2010
Available online 21 October 2010
applications. Channel characteristics, traffic characteristics and queue characteristics are essential factors
in the design of opportunistic scheduling algorithms. In this paper, we propose a cross-layer QoS support
Keywords: scheduling framework and a corresponding opportunistic scheduling algorithm to provide QoS support to
Cross-layer protocol design the heterogeneous traffic in single carrier WiMAX point-to-multipoint (PMP) systems. We model the
uplink transmission in the single carrier WiMAX system as a multi-class priority TDMA queueing system
Opportunistic scheduling
to analyze the average packet delays of different service classes. Extensive simulation experiments have
been carried out to evaluate the performance of our proposal. The simulation results show that our
proposed solution can improve the performance of the WiMAX PMP system in terms of packet loss rate,
packet delay and system throughput.
& 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction information on the traffic Maximum Latency (ML) constraint,

Maximum Sustained Traffic Rate (MSTR) and the instantaneous
The WiMAX (IEEE Std 802.16d, 2004) system has received a lot length of queues at a station. The cross-layer nature of OMAC
of attention from the academic and industry sectors in the past few (Amoakoh et al., 2006) with an opportunistic scheduling scheme
years as it comes with the ability to provide broadband wireless has the potential to revolutionize the design of broadband wireless
access and potential ability to compete with existing wired and access networks from the physical to the networking layer.
wireless networks. One important issue in the design of WiMAX Recently, various opportunistic scheduling schemes have been
systems is to provide QoS to different service classes by using an proposed for wireless communication systems. They can exploit the
efficient scheduling scheme. time-varying nature of the radio environment to improve the
Wireless access networks have unique characteristics, which spectrum efficiency while maintaining a certain level of QoS satisfac-
are the time-varying channel conditions and the multi-user tion for each connection or user in various wireless networks. The
diversity. The Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol and schedul- proposed opportunistic scheduling schemes can be classified into
ing algorithms have to be developed specially for this environment channel-aware only and channel-aware and queue-aware algorithms
(Liu et al., 2003). It requires a cross-layer MAC protocol design based on their functionality of scheduling algorithms (Hassel, 2006).
approach, whereby Channel Specification (Cspec) carrying the Max Carrier-to-Noise Ratio Scheduling (MCS) (Bonald, 2005) is a
estimated instantaneous channel information can be fed to the typical channel-aware opportunistic scheduling scheme. The MCS
MAC layer from the physical (PHY) layer and Traffic Specification scheme is to allocate resources to users with the best channel
(Tspec) carrying traffic QoS related information can be fed to the condition to achieve high system throughput. On top of channel
MAC layer from higher layers such as the network or application characteristics, traffic characteristics also play an important role in the
layer. The Cspec feedback includes information on the estimated design of an opportunistic scheduling algorithm. The Proportional Fair
instantaneous Signal-to-Interference and Noise Ratio (SINR), sup- Scheduling (PFS) schemes (Jalali et al., 2000; Jinri and Niu, 2007; Bang
portable data rate R(t), Received Signal Strength Indications (RSSI) et al., 2008) attempt to trade-off among the throughput, efficiency and
or Bit Error Rate (BER ) of a link. The Tspec feedback includes fairness among users by taking packet length into account (Jinri and
Niu, 2007), or estimating future channel quality (Bang et al., 2008).
Modified Largest Weighted Delay First (M-LWDF) (Andrews et al.,
Corresponding author. Tel.: + 65 91702589. 2000) is a modified version of the PFS scheduler that tries to meet the
E-mail address: (J. Lu). QoS requirement in terms of head-of-line packet delay. Traffic-Aided

1084-8045/$ - see front matter & 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
766 J. Lu, M. Ma / Journal of Network and Computer Applications 34 (2011) 765–773

Opportunistic Scheduling (TAOS-1) (Hu et al., 2004) is a heuristic traffic QoS requirements and queue status to enhance the
opportunistic scheduling scheme that unifies file size information and performance of existing opportunistic scheduling algorithms.
wireless channel variations in order to reduce the completion time of The proposed opportunistic scheduling has a unified formula. It
file transmission. Exponential Rule Scheduler (EXPRule) (Shakkottai is different from the scheduling scheme in the paper Liu et al.
and Stolyar, 2001) attempts to equalize the weighted delays of all (2006) which uses different scheduling parameters to schedule
buffers when their differences become larger in a wireless system. rtPS, nrtPS and BE service classes separately.
Comparison of those conventional cross-layer opportunistic schedu-  Dynamical priority index is designed for each packet belonging
lers can be found in (Amoakoh and Kim, 2006). to the rtPS service class. It can update the priority of rtPS
Cross-layer MAC and opportunistic scheduling designs tailored dynamically according to a linear function based on the channel
for WiMAX systems have been proposed (Mai et al., 2007; Lera condition.
et al., 2007; Kwon et al., 2005; Liu et al., 2006; Wan et al., 2007).
TCP-MAC layer cross-layer design has been proposed in the paper The rest of the paper is organized as follows. In Section 2, we
(Mai et al., 2007). It maps network layer 3 and layer 2 function- describe various aspects of the MAC and PHY layers of the WiMAX
alities to provide QoS support in the IEEE 802.16d network. Paper system. In Section 3, we present our proposed cross-layer QoS
(Lera et al., 2007) aims at enabling downlink (DL) traffic delivery support framework and the HOS algorithm. In Section 4, we present
with a differentiated service treatment, even in a non-ideal channel the queueing model for the WiMAX system. We model the uplink
condition. It addresses a channel-aware scheduling algorithm with transmission of the WiMAX system as a multi-class priority TDMA
a per-flow channel error compensation technique based on the queueing system. In Section 5, we show our simulation design and
typical features of a WiMAX system: class-based QoS guarantees the simulation results. Finally, in Section 6, we conclude the paper
and per-flow resource assignment. The Worst-Case Fair Weighted with a summary.
Fair Queuing+(WF2Q +) algorithm has been suggested to manage
the flow-level and class-level granularity per-class queues. A cross-
layer adaptive architecture for the IEEE 802.16e OFDMA system has 2. WiMAX PMP system
been proposed in the paper (Kwon et al., 2005). A priority-based
scheduler has been proposed in the paper (Liu et al., 2006). At the A WiMAX (IEEE Std 802.16d, 2004) system with PMP topology
MAC layer, each connection employs the adaptive modulation and includes one Base Station (BS) and M Subscriber Stations (SSs),
coding (AMC) scheme at the physical (PHY) layer. A Priority where M is the number of SSs. In this study, we focus on the UL
Function (PRF) has been defined for each connection to be admitted transmission of the WiMAX system in time division duplex (TDD)
into the system and is updated dynamically depending on the mode. The principle of the proposed scheduling algorithm can
wireless channel quality, QoS satisfaction and service priority be extended to DL. The TDD MAC frame is divided into UL and DL
through a MAC-PHY cross-layer manner. The strategy proposed sub-frames. Service flows which are uniquely identified by a 32-bit
in (Wan et al., 2007) has further enhanced the architecture in service flow identifier (SFID) may be transmitted in either the
(Kwon et al., 2005) by proposing a joint packet scheduling and sub- UL or DL sub-frame. Active service flows are associated with
channel allocation scheme. QoS requirement parameters, namely, ActiveQoSParameterSet.
With the help of several additional parameters for the pre- Admitted and active service flows are mapped to a 16-bit connec-
ference metrics which are the priority of connections or users to be tion identifier (CID), and are controlled and maintained by a
determined by the opportunistic scheduler for the order of Connection Admission Control (CAC) scheme in Active Connection
transmission service, the schemes in (Mai et al., 2007; Lera et al., List (ACL) at the BS.
2007; Kwon et al., 2005; Liu et al., 2006; Wan et al., 2007) are shown The traffic flows at each SS are classified according to the four
to achieve satisfied performance in the given network conditions. types of scheduling services, namely, Unsolicited Grant Service
However, the existing scheduling schemes proposed for WiMAX (UGS), Real-time Polling Service (rtPS), Non-Real-time Polling
systems do not consider packet loss rate. The scheduling schemes Service (nrtPS) and Best Effort (BE) service. The mandatory QoS
have not been applied to packet scheduling in each traffic flow. The service flow parameters for UGS service are Maximum Sustained
priority coefficient setting for rtPS and nrtPS traffic connections is Traffic Rate (MSTR), Maximum Latency (ML), Tolerated Jitter and
rigid while in fact, traffic load and average long-term channel Request/Transmission Policy. The mandatory QoS service flow
conditions vary dynamically. parameters for rtPS service are Minimum Reserved Traffic Rate
In this paper, we take channel characteristics, queue character- (MRTR), MSTR, ML and Request/Transmission Policy. The manda-
istics and traffic QoS characteristics of traffic connections into tory QoS service flow parameters for nrtPS are MRTR, MSTR, Traffic
account, propose a cross-layer QoS support framework and a two- Priority and Request/Transmission Policy. The mandatory QoS
stage opportunistic scheduling scheme in the single carrier WiMAX service flow parameters for BE are MSTR, Traffic Priority, and
PMP system. The two-stage opportunistic scheduling algorithm is Request/Transmission Policy. As BE connection can tolerate MSTR
termed as Holistic Opportunistic Scheduling (HOS) with the and ML QoS requirements, only UGS, rtPS and nrtPS will be
features of channel-awareness, queue-awareness and traffic considered in this paper. rtPS and nrtPS can be combined together
QoS-awareness. under a general polling service umbrella as suggested in the paper
Our proposal is able to enhance the proposals in (Liu et al., 2006) (Ma and Ng, 2006).
and (Wan et al., 2007) with the following major contributions: The WiMAX system supports 5 different PHY techniques (IEEE
Std 802.16d, 2004), namely, WirelessMAN-SC (Single Carrier) PHY
specification, WirelessMAN-SCa PHY specification, WirelessMAN-
 A cross-layer QoS support framework has been designed to OFDM PHY specification, WirelessMAN-OFDMA PHY specification
provide instantaneous Cspec and Tspec feedback to the MAC and WirelessHUMANTM PHY specification. At the PHY layer, the
layer in the WiMAX system. The detailed signal exchange WiMAX system takes an adaptive modulation policy which selects
protocol is designed to visualize the cross-layer design which 1 out of 3 different modulation schemes. On the UL, QPSK is
is merely conceptually mentioned in the paper (Liu et al., 2006). mandatory, while 16-QAM and 64-QAM are optional. The DL
 A novel comprehensive Holistic Opportunistic Scheduling algo- supports QPSK and 16-QAM, while 64-QAM is optional. The system
rithm has been derived with the consideration of not only real- can use various Forward Error Correction (FEC) schemes on the UL
time physical channel and network traffic conditions but also as well as the DL. To fully utilize the flexible and robust PHY layer,
J. Lu, M. Ma / Journal of Network and Computer Applications 34 (2011) 765–773 767

the WiMAX system equips a flexible Radio Link Control scheme, 3. Proposed QoS support framework and scheduling algorithm
which is responsible for transition from one PHY scheme to
another. The RLC is capable of switching between different PHY The performance of MAC protocol and the functionality of
bursts. The system also uses the Receiver Sensitivity as a parameter scheduling algorithms are influenced by the time-varying wireless
together with the SINR thresholds of receivers used by AMC scheme channel in WiMAX systems. In order to enhance the performance of
to select different burst profiles in order to maximize the network MAC protocol with QoS provisioning to the heterogeneous traffic in
throughput and maintain the Bit Error Rate (BER) under a preset WiMAX systems, we propose an efficient cross-layer QoS support
level e.g. BER o ¼1  10  5. framework and a corresponding two-stage opportunistic schedul-
WiMAX transceivers support various transmission modes ing algorithm in the single carrier WiMAX PMP system as shown
with different modulation and coding schemes corresponding to in Fig. 1.
different data transmission rates. For each modulation scheme,
there is one relationship between the theoretical BER and the
3.1. Proposed cross-layer QoS support framework
energy per bit to noise power spectral density ratio (Eb/N0)
(Langton, 2002). By using MATLAB, the diagram of theoretical
BER vs. SINR relationship can be plotted when the PHY channel The proposed cross-layer QoS support framework supports both
bandwidth is set to 25 MHz (IEEE Std 802.16d, 2004) in the single UL and DL transmission. We take the UL transmission as an
carrier WiMAX PMP system. example to explain its functionality as follows:
The range of the received SINR values can be classified into
seven non-overlapping regions for adaptive modulation and coding (1) Considering the impact of air interface on MAC layer protocol, a
index AMC(q) where q¼1,2,y,7 on a target prescribed bit error rate wireless Channel Condition Estimator (CCE) is designed at the
BERo ¼1  10  5 in the WiMAX PMP system. PHY layer at the BS as well as the SSm, where m¼1,2,3,y,M. It
Further complying with the receiver sensitivity RSS require- not only monitors instantaneous channel condition status like
ment specified by the IEEE 802.16d standard (IEEE Std 802.16d, the receiver’s received signal strength RSS(m) and SINR g(m)
2004), a lookup table, labeled Table 1, which is named AMC vs. SINR when the BS receives signal from SSm, but also indicates long
and receiver sensitivity requirement, can be derived when BER is term channel condition by using the statistic parameters
set to 1  10  5. including Max_g(m), Average_g(m) and Min_g(m) over the
execution period. Based on the information of the channel’s
status provided by CCE, the FEC, the Symbol Mapper and the
AMC controller at the BS select an FEC scheme, modulation and
Table 1 coding scheme AMC(m, q), and the data transmission rate for UL
AMC vs. receiver SINR and Min sensitivity requirement.
transmission from SSm to the BS at modulation and coding level
AMC Receiver Receiver Min Modulation/ Channel bit q according to Table 1. By sensing the maximum value of q in
index SINR (dB) sensitivity RSS(q) coding scheme rate R(q) AMC(m, q) at all M SSs in the system, the Symbol Mapper and the
AMC(q) g(q) (dB m) (Mbps) AMC controller at the BS can determine the maximum trans-
mission rate Max_R(t) at time t.
AMC(1) 8.3–11.6  80 BPSK1/2 20
AMC(2) 11.7–13.2  80 QPSK1/2 40 (2) The PHY Symbol Rate Controller at the BS then forms
AMC(3) 13.3–18.9  78 QPSK3/4 60 AMC_Controller_Info{ g(m), RSS(m), AMC(m, q), Max_R(t)} and
AMC(4) 19.0–20.9  73 16-QAM1/2 80 forwards the AMC_Controller_Info to the MAC layer via its PHY
AMC(5) 21.0–28.0  71 16-QAM3/4 120 Service Access Point (SAP). Embedded in UL-Map, the informa-
AMC(6) 28.1–29.1  66 64-QAM2/3 160
AMC(7) 4 ¼29.2  65 64-QAM3/4 180
tion is further broadcasted to all SSs for UL scheduling and
transmission from SSm to the BS.

Fig. 1. Proposed cross-layer QoS support framework for WiMAX.

768 J. Lu, M. Ma / Journal of Network and Computer Applications 34 (2011) 765–773

(3) The first stage of the scheduling scheme operates at each SS. Specification Index (CSI), Normalized Time Delay Satisfaction Index
When SSm receives a DL/UL_Map message, its scheduler (NTDSI) and Normalized Predictive Starvation Index (NPSI). In the
extracts g(m), R(m, q) from AMC_Controller_Info. Based on scheduling period, starting at time t, SSm (or BS scheduling for DL
g(m), R(m, q) and Tspec of each connection, the scheduler at traffic) decides the SP of the kth packet from connection i of either
SSm computes four scheduling parameters and determines the rtPS or nrtPS traffic flows based on the following equation:
Scheduling Priority (SP) for every packet in each connection
SPðm,i,k,tÞ ¼ DPIðm,i,tÞCSIðm,i,tÞ
through our proposed HOS algorithm which is to be described
in detail in Section B. Then, the SPs will be sorted in descending exp½NTDSIðm,i,k,tÞNPSIðm,i,tÞ ð1Þ
order. Then, SSm will take the maximum value of the calculated
Scheduling Priority, Max_ SP(m), to represent itself to compete where DPI(m, i, t) is the dynamic priority index of connection i at
with other SSs for the order of UL transmission in the next SSm. The role of DPI(m, i, t) is to provide different priorities for
frame. SSm embeds its Max_SP(m), its total bandwidth request, different QoS classes dynamically. The priority coefficients are
BW_request(m) and AMC_Controller_Info in a Polling_respon- fixed in the paper (Liu et al., 2006), the priority of rtPS ¼1.0 4the
se(m) and sends it to the BS when SSm is polled. priority of nrtPS ¼0.8 4the priority of BE ¼0.6. In contrast, we set
(4) The second stage of scheduling at the BS sorts Max_SP(1), priority index, which is termed priority coefficient in the paper (Liu
Max_SP(2),y, Max_SP(M) in descending order and selects SSm et al., 2006), of rtPS service class dynamically on a channel-aware
with the highest Max_SP(m) to allocate time slots according to approach. The procedure to set the value of DPI(m, i, t) is described
its BW_request(m) in the next UL sub-frame, excluding the time as follows:
slots for UGS. If BW_request(m) is less than the number of
available time slots in the next UL sub-frame, the remaining
(1) A range for DPI(m, i, t) of [1.0, 0.8] is set for rtPS traffic
time slots will be allocated to SSn which has the second highest
connections. SSm firstly assigns 0.8 to DPI(m, i, t) for rtPS traffic
Max_SP(n) according to its BW_request(n). This procedure
connection i and 0.6 to DPI(m, j, t) for nrtPS traffic j connection.
iterates until all the available time slots in the next UL
(2) After the system runs over a period of time, SSm is able to derive
sub-frame are used up. AMC_Controller_Info{ g(m), RSS(m),
statistical channel condition parameters like Max_g(m),
AMC(m, q), Max_R(t)} and the result of scheduling, which is
Average_g(m) and Min_g(m) based on g(m) in AMC_Controller_
the time slot allocations for SSs in the next UL sub-frame, are
Info from the BS. The DPI(m, i, t) for each packet belonging to
embedded in a DL/UL_Map. The DL/UL_Map is broadcasted by
rtPS service class can be updated dynamically according to the
the BS to all SSs for UL transmission in the next frame.
linear function:
(5) The scheduler at SSm extracts the information of its allocated
transmission time slots and the AMC_Controller_Info from the DPIðm,i,tÞ ¼ 0:8 þ0:2½gðmÞMin_gðmÞ=½Max_gðmÞMin_gðmÞ
DL/UL_Map and selects packets from the highest priority to ð2Þ
the lowest priority from different connections. SSm transmits
the selected packets to the BS in the allocated time slots at the
data rate determined by AMC(m, q) of the BS receiver. By using (2), DPI(m, i, t) will be set dynamically from 0.8 to 1.0 for
the rtPS service class based on SINR g(m) while it is fixed at 0.6 for
the nrtPS service class. It makes sure that the priority of the rtPS
3.2. Holistic opportunistic scheduling algorithm traffic is always higher than that of the nrtPS traffic. It gives favor
treatment to the rtPS service class to enhance the performance of
In this study, the following design factors have been taken into QoS for real-time traffic when the channel condition is good.
consideration when designing the efficient QoS framework and the CSI(m, i, t) in (1) is the channel specification index for connection
corresponding scheduling scheme to provide QoS to the hetero- i at SSm at time t. It is calculated as follows:
geneous traffic in WiMAX systems:
CSIðm,i,tÞ ¼ ð3Þ
 The existing QoS signaling mechanisms and DL/UL_Map
mechanism in WiMAX should be applied. where R(m, i, t) is the transmission rate of connection i at SSm at time
 Per-connection scheduling overhead should be minimized. t. It is set according to AMC(m, q) dynamically based on the channel
 The QoS requirement parameters of each connection in the condition at the PHY layer. Max_R(t) is the maximum of R(m, i, t)
system should be guaranteed. over all M SSs and all connection i at the time instant t. From the
 The impact of AMC on the scheduling scheme should be scheduling parameter defined in (3), CSI(m, i, t) is in fact a MCS
taken into account as the channel capacity or bandwidth scheduling scheme (Bonald, 2005). CSI(m, i, t) is a typical through-
dynamically fluctuates according to the SINR of PHY in a put efficient opportunistic scheduling, which allocates resources to
wireless time-varying channel. SSs with the best channel condition. In order to achieve high system
throughput, CSI(m, i, t) plays the role as a channel-aware scheduling
Considering the design factors mentioned above, we propose parameter in our proposed HOS.
the Holistic Opportunistic Scheduling (HOS) algorithm associated However, this channel-aware policy monopolizes all resources
with the proposed cross-layer QoS support framework. The pro- to good-channel users that are usually located close to the BS.
posed scheduling scheme takes the information of instantaneous Because the SSs are usually distributed across the entire WiMAX
wireless channel condition and the real-time traffic condition as system, this unfair scheduling parameter alone is not beneficial for
well as the traffic QoS specification to set the Scheduling Priority anybody but local SSs.
(SP) for each individual packet for the UL transmission from rtPS or In order to overcome this unfairness caused by the side-effect of
nrtPS traffic flows. Since the UGS connections have been allocated CSI(m, i, t) and to provide delay bound guarantees for individual
with a fixed bandwidth based on their fixed bandwidth require- connections and delay-sensitive rtPS traffic flows, we introduce a
ment specified by the framework of the IEEE 802.16d standard, the traffic QoS-aware scheduling parameter, termed as Normalized
proposed scheduling is only applied for the rtPS and nrtPS services. Time Delay Satisfaction Index, NTDSI(m, i, k, t), as well as a queue-
The SP of each packet is determined by four key scheduling aware scheduling parameter, termed as Normalized Predictive
parameters, namely, Dynamical Priority Index (DPI), Channel Starvation Index, NPSI(m, i, t) in the HOS scheduling function.
J. Lu, M. Ma / Journal of Network and Computer Applications 34 (2011) 765–773 769

NTDSI(m, i, k, t) in (1) is the parameter to capture the packet Here PSR(m, i, t) is the packet success rate with the following
latency requirement of a packet if applicable. It is defined as definition: a packet is correctly transmitted from connection i at
follows: SSm at time t, only if it is not dropped from the queue with
NTDSIðm,i,k,tÞ ¼ 1TDSIðm,i,k,tÞ=Max½TDSIðm,i,k,tÞ ð4Þ probability [1  Pd(m, i, t)] and is correctly transmitted through the
iAI wireless channel with probability [1  PER(m, i, t)]. Hence, we can
obtain the packet loss rate for connection i at SSm at time t, as shown
Packet timeout is defined as when the waiting time of the packet
in a queue is over its maximum latency ML(m, i, k)or when its
waiting time is over the TCP re-transmission threshold. Time Delay eðm,i,tÞ ¼ 1½1Pd ðm,i,tÞ½1PERðm,i,tÞ ð10Þ
Satisfaction Index (TDSI) for the kth packet from rtPS connection i at
SSm, TDSI(m, i, k, t), will be set as Therefore, the packet success rate PSR(m, i, t) of the kth packet
( from connection i at SSm at time t is calculated as follows:
MLðm,i,kÞ½tVCðm,i,kÞ if fMLðm,i,kÞ½tVCðm,i,kÞg 4 0
TDSIðm,i,k,tÞ ¼ PSRðm,i,tÞ ¼ 1eðm,i,tÞ ¼ ½1Pd ðm,i,tÞ½1PERðm,i,tÞ ð11Þ
0, if fMLðm,i,kÞ½tVCðm,i,kÞg r 0

Since a non-real-time packet in nrtPS connections has no Let Pd(m, i, t) denote the packet dropping probability, which is
maximum latency requirement, the maximum waiting time for a due to its queue being full, the packet delay exceeding its ML or the
non-real-time packet can be set as the TCP re-transmission time- waiting time exceeding the TCP re-transmission threshold, upon
out value TO at 400 ms for the wireless channel (Song and Mar, the queue for connection i at SSm at time t:
2005). The TDSI(m, i, k, t) for the kth packet from nrtPS connection i Em,i,t fDg
at SSm, TDSI(m, i, k, t), is set as Pd ðm,i,tÞ ¼ ð12Þ
Em,i,t fAg
TO½tVCðm,i,kÞ if fTO½tVCðm,i,kÞg4 0
TDSIðm,i,k,tÞ ¼ ð6Þ Pd(m, i, t) is the ratio of the number of dropped packets Em,i,t{D}over
0 if fTO½tVCðm,i,kÞgr 0 the number of arrived packets Em,i,t{A} during the sliding window or
scheduling period.
Each packet is stamped with a virtual clock (VC) (Zhang, 1990).
To simplify the AMC design, packet error rate PER(m, i, t) of the
VC monitors the average transmission rate of statistical data flows
wireless PHY transmission channel for connection i at SSm at time t
and provides every flow with guaranteed throughput and low queue
can be approximately expressed as
delay. The idea behind the VC algorithm is that each packet is
assigned a VirtualTime, which represents the time it would be sent in 1, if gðmÞ r gBS_Min
a Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) system. The VC(m, i, k) is set for PERðm,i,tÞ  ð13Þ
an exp½gn gðmÞ if gðmÞ r gBS_Min
the kth packet from connection i at SSm according to the algorithm:
VCðm,i,kÞ ¼ Max½VCðm,i,k1Þ,real time þPLðm,i,kÞ=Rðm,i,tÞ ð7Þ gBS_Min is the minimum SINR requirement of the BS receiver.
Parameters an and gn are modulation and coding mode dependent,
where PL(m, i, k) is the length of the kth packet.[t VC(m, i, k)] which can be determined by the modulation and coding
denotes the time spent by the kth packet in its queue. scheme (Liu et al., 2004).
TDSIðm,i,k,tÞ=Max½TDSIðm,i,k,tÞ is the normalization function so that When a channel condition is good, DPI (m, i, t) will be set at a
TDSIðm,i,k,tÞ=Max½TDSIðm,i,k,tÞ A ½0,1: high value for the rtPS service class. Thus, a higher system
iAI throughput can be achieved. When R(m, i, t)¼0, the channel is in
If deep fading and the capacity is zero, so connection i at SSm should
not be served regardless of its delay performance. The scheduling
½NTDSIðm,i,k,tÞ ¼ 1TDSIðm,i,k,tÞ=Max½TDSIðm,i,k,tÞ 4 0
iAI scheme can achieve sub-optimality.

the delay requirement of the kth packet will be satisfied, and the
effect on the scheduling priority will be quantified by exp[  NTDSI 3.3. Computional complexity analysis of HOS algorithm
(m, i, k, t)]A[0.368,1]. A smaller value of exp[ NTDSI(m, i, k, t)]
indicates a higher degree of delay satisfaction, which leads to a lower Each SS monitors and computes the SPs of packets from its own
scheduling priority. connections. The first stage scheduler at SS only sorts the SPs of
In a wireless network environment, common channel errors due packets in its own queues, the complexity of the algorithm at SS is
to multi-path fading, shadowing and attenuation may cause bit O(N log N) where N is the number of packets in the queues.
errors and packet loss, which are quite different from the packet Similarly, the second stage scheduler at BS only sorts the SS’s
loss caused by congestions in the wired networks. Therefore, Max_SP(m), where m¼1,2,yM. The scope of the sorting list is
wireless packet loss can mistakenly lead to dramatic performance limited to the total number of SSs, the complexity of the algorithm
degradation. The information of packet loss rate in wireless net- at BS is O(M log M) where M is the number of SSs. It means that the
works not only reflects the condition of the PHY wireless channel overhead of scheduling is divided into two stages and it is
but also serves as an index of effective rate adjustment. distributed and shared by all SSs. A frame time is sufficient for
NPSI(m, i, t) in (1) is the normalized predictive starvation index. every SS to compute four key scheduling parameters for a packet
It is designed to reflect the packet loss of the system. It is calculated which could be transmitted in the next frame. The efficiency of the
as follows: scheme can be achieved.
NPSIðm,i,tÞ ¼ ð8Þ
4. Queueing model and delay analysis
where PSI(m, i, t) is the Predictive Starvation Index which indicates
the queue status in terms of queue length and the urgency of a To analyze a packet-level QoS in real-time and non-real-time
packet that is to be transmitted successfully: data transmission, the network performance parameter like aver-
age packet delay needs to be investigated. A queueing analytical
PSIðm,i,tÞ ¼ the number of packets in queue i at SSm at time t=PSRðm,i,tÞ model can be used off-line to obtain the network performance
ð9Þ parameter.
770 J. Lu, M. Ma / Journal of Network and Computer Applications 34 (2011) 765–773

In this section, we perform a queueing analytical modeling to bj,2 is the second moment of service time, and is given by
analyze the WiMAX system in order to obtain the average packet Z 1
delay for UGS and rtPS service classes. bj,2 ¼ x2 dBj ðxÞ
rj ¼ lj bj,1
4.1. WiMAX system queueing model
Zj ¼ ri , j ¼ 1,2,. . .,J ð17Þ
The UL channel of the single carrier WiMAX PMP system can be
modeled as a multi-class priority TDMA queueing system.
The UL channel can be considered as a multiple-access com- For UGS traffic, we set J ¼1. And we can set J¼2, J ¼3, J ¼4 for
munication channel shared by M SSs. The UL sub-frame consists of rtPS traffic, nrtPS and BE traffic, respectively.
N consecutive time slots. Each time slot is normalized to be of unit
length t. Let the duration of a time frame be TF, so that TF ¼ Nt. The
5. Performance evaluation
TDMA scheme for inter-SS is Max–Min Fair Sharing (MMFS)
scheduling, in which station i is allocated ni time slots per frame,
Following the signaling mechanism specified by the IEEE
uniformly distributes in UL sub-frame. The TDMA scheme for inter-
802.16d standard, we developed our own WiMAX simulation
class is the strict priority queue scheme in which higher priority
model by using C language. We have carried out extensive
packets are queued ahead of lower priority ones. Packets of the
simulation experiments to evaluate the performance of the pro-
same priority class that arrive at different slots are served on a First-
posed cross-layer QoS support framework and the HOS algorithm.
Come-First-Served basis. Packets of the same priority class that
We compare the performances of Exponential Rule Scheduler
arrive during the same slot are randomly ordered for transmission.
(EXPRule) in Shakkottai and Stolyar (2001) and Priority Function
Each station can transmit its packets only during its dedicated time
Scheduler (PRFS) in Liu et al. (2006) with that of our scheduling
slots, which is synchronized and governed by the BS via
scheme for rtPS and nrtPS connections. Average packet delays of
DL/UL_Map. Packets arriving at each SS belong to one of the four
service classes obtained by quantitative analysis of the queueing
priority classes: UGS (priority-1, highest priority), rtPS (priority-2),
model have been compared with the simulation results. The
nrtPS (priority-3) or BE (priority-4, lowest priority). At each station,
simulation results show that our proposed scheduling scheme
packet arrival is a Poisson arrival process so that lj is the average
can not only effectively support rtPS traffic to make real-time
arrival rate of class j packets, j¼1, 2,y,J. Each packet is transmitted
packets meet their delay bounds but also serve nrtPS traffic with
in different number of time slots according to its length. The
reasonable performance.
number of time slots to transmit the kth arriving packet of priority
class j is denoted by Bjk (j ¼1, 2,y,J). It is assumed that {Bjk , k Z l} is a
5.1. Simulation design
sequence of independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) random
variables for each class j ¼1, 2,y,J. The transmission requests can
For the wireless fading channel in the simulation model, the
be expressed by integer multiples of a time slot. We assume that the
channel quality can be captured by the parameter, g. Since the
probability of collision of the request contention in the BE service is
transmission channel varies from frame to frame, we employed
zero in the queueing model. The information of bandwidth alloca-
the general Nakagami-m model to describe g statistically
tion are carried by DL/UP_Map and broadcasted to all SSs. When the
(Nakagami, 1960). The received SINR, g per frame is thus a random
UL channel becomes available, any waiting priority-i packet is
variable with a Gamma probability density function:
served before any priority-j one, if ioj.

Note that the steady-state average packet delay for each priority mm gm1 mg
pg ðgÞ ¼ m exp  ð18Þ
class would be invariant to the intra-slot/intra-frame scheduling g GðmÞ g
scheme. We focus on the average packet delay of each priority class R1
where g is the average received SINR, GðmÞ : ¼ 0 t m1 et dt is
regardless of intra-slot/intra-frame scheduling.
the Gamma function and m is the Nakagami fading parameter
(m Z1/2). We set m ¼1 in our simulation model. The channel is
4.2. Delay analysis assumed to be quasi-static so that the channel gains are constant
over a frame. However, they are allowed to vary from frame to
The delay of a packet is defined as the total time spent by the frame. The average received SINR, gcan be expressed as
packet to get through UL channel. Denoted byDjk , the delay of the g ¼ Pt Li PN LP ð19Þ
kth packet of priority class j, we have
where Pt s the transmitter output power, Li is the implementation
Djk ¼ Wkj þ sjk þ Pkj þFL ð14Þ loss due to hardware connecting cables, antenna patterns, etc.,
PN is the receiver noise power, which is related to the hardware
where Wkj denotes the packet waiting time, sjk represents the total noise figure and bandwidth, and LP is the path loss due to radio
time to transmit a priority—j kth packet. FL denotes the packet propagation.
frame latency. Pkj denotes the packet propagation delay. The The network has been designed with one BS and eight SSs. The
average packet delay of j class is Dj , given by (Moraes and Rubin, positions of the SSs are assumed to be independent and distributed
1984) randomly. The traffic parameters are selected from the supported
 h i   range of values which fully cover the required values for multi-
N1 N
D j ¼ Wj,1 þ E Bjk  t þ FL þ P j ð15Þ media services defined in Recommendation ITU-R M.1225 (ITU
N ni
RADIO, 2007). In the simulation experiments, we only consider the
where effect of the UL scheduling algorithm on the integrated traffic
j k consisting of a fixed percentage of UGS traffic load, different
li bi,2 þ ð1ZJ Þ ni t percentages of rtPS and nrtPS traffic loads from the eight SSs to
Wj,1 ¼ ð16Þ the BS. We set UGS at 1.37 Mbps. The traffic load for rtPS and nrtPS
2ð1Zj Þð1Zj1 Þ
  is 50% each of the remaining traffic. The inter-arrival time of UGS
N=ni represents the biggest integer not larger than nNi . packets is constant, at 10.1 ms. Packet length is fixed to 200 bytes.
J. Lu, M. Ma / Journal of Network and Computer Applications 34 (2011) 765–773 771

The deadline is set to 50 ms. Both rtPS and nrtPS connections are reason is that the PRFS scheme has only considered the delay
burst traffic flows. Packet arrivals follow the Poisson distribution satisfaction indicator for the rtPS traffic and the EXPRule scheme
with packet inter-arrival time exponentially distributed. Packet has only considered starvation index for the rtPS traffic. However,
length is exponentially distributed with a mean packet length of our scheduler has integrated both Normalized Time Delay Satisfac-
500 bytes. The mean deadline of rtPS is 80 ms and it is exponen- tion Index NTDSI(m, i, k, t) and Normalized Predictive Starvation
tially distributed. There is no deadline for nrtPS connections. The Index NPSI(m, i, t) into the computation of scheduling decision for
queue size is big enough so that packets would not be dropped due
to the queue being full. We consider packet loss due to its waiting
time exceeding its maximum latency or packet destroyed because 30
of interference and fading of the wireless channel in our simulation.
The parameters for simulation experiments are shown in PRFS
Table 2. 25
5.2. Numerical calculation of average packet delay 20 HOS

rtPS Loss Rate %

According to the system configuration, we can get ni ¼250/
8¼31 slots/frame as all SSs are identical. Note that B1 ¼ 4, 15
B2 ¼ 10,B3 ¼ 10 according to the average packet length of the 3
different service classes. By using (15), the numerical results of the
average packet delay of UGS, rtPS and nrtPS classes can be 10
calculated as shown in Table 3. It has been evaluated and compared
with the simulation results of the EXPRule, PRFS and HOS schedul- 5
ing algorithms.

5.3. Experimental results 0

0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9
In the simulation experiments, it is assumed that the system Total Traffic Load
operates in TDD mode. As shown in Figs. 2–6, we evaluate the Fig. 2. Loss rate vs. traffic load for rtPS traffic.
performance of the three scheduling schemes in terms of packet
loss rate, average packet delay and UL throughput of the rtPS
connections, entire UL throughput and UL throughput of the nrtPS
connections with the total traffic load, which consists of UGS, rtPS
and nrtPS service classes, changes from 10% to 90% of the total UL
bandwidth accordingly. PRFS
Fig. 2 shows the relationship between the packet loss rate of the EXPRule
rtPS traffic and the various traffic loads. It is clear that the packet
loss rate of the rtPS traffic of our proposal is lower than that of the 200
rtPS Delay (ms)

PRFS and EXPRule schemes when the traffic intensity increases. The Queueing Model

Table 2
Simulation parameters based on IEEE 802.16d SC system.

Parameters Value 100

Channel bandwidth 25 MHz

Frame length 10 ms 50
UL sub-frame length 5 ms
Duration of time slot 20 ms
Average received SINR, g 12 dB 0
Adaptive modulation scheme BPSK, QPSK, M-QAM
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9
Target BER, Pber r 10  5
Wireless channel model Nakagami-m fading channel (m ¼1) Total Traffic Load
Receiver sensitivity, RSS  65 dB m
Fig. 3. rtPS delay vs. traffic load.

Table 3
Numerical calculation of Mean delay.

Traffic Load UGS (Mbps) rtPS (Mbps) nrtPS (Mbps) k1 (mean) Packet/s k2,3 (mean) Packet/s UGS Delay(ms) rtPS Delay(ms) nrtPS Delay(ms)

0.1 1.37 0.315 0.315 107.03 9.84 6.14 7.91 8.72

0.2 1.37 1.315 1.315 107.03 41.09 6.14 10.48 13.98
0.3 1.37 2.315 2.315 107.03 72.34 6.14 13.09 19.44
0.4 1.37 3.315 3.315 107.03 103.59 6.14 15.73 25.12
0.5 1.37 4.315 4.315 107.03 134.84 6.14 18.41 31.02
0.6 1.37 5.315 5.315 107.03 166.09 6.14 21.11 37.15
0.7 1.37 6.315 6.315 107.03 197.34 6.14 23.85 43.53
0.8 1.37 7.315 7.315 107.03 228.59 6.14 26.63 50.17
0.9 1.37 8.315 8.315 107.03 259.84 6.14 29.45 57.07
772 J. Lu, M. Ma / Journal of Network and Computer Applications 34 (2011) 765–773

0.5 0.5

0.4 EXPRule 0.4 EXPRule
rtPS UL Throughput

nrtPS UL Throughput
0.3 0.3

0.2 0.2


0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 0.0
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9
Total Traffic Load
Total Traffic Load
Fig. 4. rtPS UL throughput vs. traffic load.
Fig. 6. nrtPS UL throughput vs. traffic load.

It is also observed that the average packet delays of the queueing
0.8 model and HOS are very close to each other. The simulation results
PRFS have been validated by the queueing model.
0.7 Fig. 4 shows the relationship between the UL throughput of the
EXPRule rtPS connections with traffic load for the three scheduling schemes.
System UL Throughput

0.6 It can be observed that our proposal can achieve a higher UL

HOS throughput of the rtPS service class.
0.5 Based on (2), the DPI assignment of our proposal assigns rtPS
traffic with a higher DPI when channel condition is good to provide
0.4 more transmission opportunities for the rtPS traffic bursts. Further-
more, the delay requirement of a packet from a rtPS connection has
0.3 been included to determine its SP by exp[ NTDSI(m, i, k, t)]A
[0.368,1]. If ML(m, i, k) (t  VC(m, i, k) r 0, a lower value of
0.2 NTDSI(m, i, k, t) can be set, leading to a higher SP for a rtPS packet.
Fig. 5 shows the system UL throughput with different traffic
0.1 loads. It is observed that our proposal can achieve a higher UL
throughput. It is clear that EXPRule scheduler and PRFS degrade
0.0 dramatically but our scheduler does not when the traffic load is
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 more than 0.7. The connection-based scheduler could waste
Total Traffic Load bandwidth, if the BW_ request of a scheduled connection is less
than the available bandwidth in a frame. Since the HOS scheduler is
Fig. 5. System UL throughput vs. traffic load.
a packet-based scheduler without any waste of available band-
width, efficient bandwidth utilization can be achieved by our
proposal. Furthermore, the EXPRule scheme has not considered
the transmission priority. Therefore, it can achieve a much lower the ML requirement of the rtPS traffic, the packets from rtPS
packet loss rate for the rtPS traffic connections. connections drop drastically when traffic load is heavy, e.g. more
Fig. 3 shows the average packet delays of the rtPS connections of than 0.7. This leads to a lower UL throughput by the EXPRule
the three scheduling schemes and the numerical calculation results scheme.
of the queueing model. It is clear that the EXPRule scheduler Fig. 6 shows the UL throughput of nrtPS connections with
degrades dramatically but PRFS and our scheduler do not. The different traffic loads. It is clear that our solution can achieve a
reason is that the delay requirement of a packet from a rtPS moderately higher nrtPS UL throughput compared to PRFS and
connection has been included to determine its SP by exp[-NTDSI(m, EXPRule. The reason is that we have included the predictive
i, k, t)]A [0.368,1]. If ML(m, i, k) (t  VC(m, i, k)r0, a lower value of starvation index NPSI (m, i, t) in the opportunistic scheduling
NTDSI(m, i, k, t) can be set, leading to a higher SP. The expression design. When the DPI (m, i, t), NTDSI(m, i, k, t) and CSI (m, i, t) are the
exp[  NTDSI(m, i, k, t)] makes the scheduling priority assignment same for all the connections, NPSI (m, i, t) becomes the major factor
much more sensitive to the delay bound of a packet from the rtPS in determining the Scheduling Priority. When the queue length of
traffic. one of the nrtPS connections increases, it leads to a higher value of
It is observed that the average packet delays of the queueing NPSI (m, i, t), so the starvation problem of nrtPS connections can be
model and that of the three schemes are very close to each other mitigated. The queue length of each connection will be restricted to
when the traffic load is light, for example, less than 0.6. This is based a certain level to make the system stable.
on the fact that the system can transmit packets in time when the The EXPRule scheduling scheme is a connection-based scheduler.
traffic load is light. The bandwidth can be wasted, if the BW_ request of a scheduled
J. Lu, M. Ma / Journal of Network and Computer Applications 34 (2011) 765–773 773

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