Towards MAC/Anycast Diversity in IEEE 802.11n MIMO Networks

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Abstract: Opportunistic Routing (OR) is a novel routing technique for wireless mesh networks that exploits the broadcast nature of the wireless medium. OR combines frames from multiple receivers and therefore creates a form of Spatial Diversity, called MAC Diversity. The gain from OR is especially high in networks where the majority of links has a high packet loss probability. The updated IEEE 802.11n standard improves the physical layer with the ability to use multiple transmit and receive antennas, i.e. Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MIMO), and therefore already offers spatial diversity on the physical layer, i.e. called Physical Diversity, which improves the reliability of a wireless link by reducing its error rate. In this paper we quantify the gain from MAC diversity as utilized by OR in the presence of PHY diversity as provided by a MIMO system like 802.11n. We experimented with an IEEE 802.11n indoor testbed and analyzed the nature of packet losses. Our experiment results show negligible MAC diversity gains for both interference-prone 2.4 GHz and interference-free 5 GHz channels when using 802.11n. This is different to the observations made with single antenna systems based on 802.11b/g, as well as in initial studies with 802.11n.

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@article{DBLP:journals/corr/abs-1203-2041,
  author    = {Anatolij Zubow and
               Robert Sombrutzki and
               Markus Scheidgen},
  title     = {Towards MAC/Anycast Diversity in IEEE 802.11n MIMO Networks},
  journal   = {CoRR},
  volume    = {abs/1203.2041},
  year      = {2012},
  ee        = {http://arxiv.org/abs/1203.2041},
  bibsource = {DBLP, http://dblp.uni-trier.de}
}

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