Fair packet scheduling in Wireless Mesh Networks

In this paper we study the interactions of TCP and IEEE 802.11 MAC in Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs). We use a Markov chain to capture the behavior of TCP sessions, particularly the impact on network throughput due to the effect of queue utilization and packet relaying. A closed form solution is derived to numerically determine the throughput. Based on the developed model, we propose a distributed MAC protocol called Timestamp-ordered MAC (TMAC), aiming to alleviate the unfairness problem in WMNs. TMAC extends CSMA/CA by scheduling data packets based on their age. Prior to transmitting a data packet, a transmitter broadcasts a request control message appended with a timestamp to a selected list of neighbors. It can proceed with the transmission only if it receives a sufficient number of grant control messages from these neighbors. A grant message indicates that the associated data packet has the lowest timestamp of all the packets pending transmission at the local transmit queue. We demonstrate that a loose ordering of timestamps among neighboring nodes is sufficient for enforcing local fairness, subsequently leading to flow rate fairness in a multi-hop WMN. We show that TMAC can be implemented using the control frames in IEEE 802.11, and thus can be easily integrated in existing 802.11-based WMNs. Our simulation results show that TMAC achieves excellent resource allocation fairness while maintaining over 90% of maximum link capacity across a large number of topologies.

Fair packet scheduling in Wireless Mesh Networks 2014, 13:414 Ad Hoc Networks

Elsevier BV

Ad Hoc Networks


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