Authors: Stratos Keranidis, Thanasis Korakis, Iordanis Koutsopoulos and Leandros Tassiulas
Conference: WinMee 2011, Princeton NJ, USA, May 2011
Efficient association of a station with the appropriate access point has always been a challenging problem. The standard approach of considering only the Received Signal Strength, has recently been substituted by more efficient schemes that consider channel conditions, cell population etc. However, in spite of the large variety of approaches, several factors that determine to a large extent user throughput after association with an access point have been overlooked. In this work, we propose innovative metrics on which association should be based. First, we capture the contention from one-hop and interference from two-hop neighbors that is inherent in IEEE 802.11 WLAN environments. Second we include the PHY transmission rate and show preference to higher rates that reduce the above effects. Third, unlike most relevant approaches, we define an activity factor that reveals the anticipated activity due to backlogged traffic. We devise an association protocol suite, through which messages containing the information above are passed between the AP and the user to support association decisions for the uplink and downlink. We implement the proposed mechanism using the MAD-WiFi open source driver and moreover show through experiments in a wireless testbed that it significantly improves user performance in real conditions.
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