MAC 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 [1]. The gain from OR is especially high in networks where the majority of links has a high packet loss probability. The updated IEEE S02.11n 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 S02.11n. We experimented with an IEEE S02.11n 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 [1], as well as in initial studies with S02.11n [2].

KeywordsIEEE 802.11n , MAC Diversity , Opportunistic Routing , PHY Diversity , Research , Testbed , Wireless Networks

@inproceedings{DBLP:conf/wd/ZubowSS12,
  author    = {Anatolij Zubow and
               Robert Sombrutzki and
               Markus Scheidgen},
  title     = {MAC diversity in IEEE 802.11n MIMO networks},
  booktitle = {Wireless Days},
  year      = {2012},
  pages     = {1-8},
  ee        = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/WD.2012.6402802},
  crossref  = {DBLP:conf/wd/2012},
  bibsource = {DBLP, http://dblp.uni-trier.de}
}
@proceedings{DBLP:conf/wd/2012,
  title     = {Proceedings of the IFIP Wireless Days Conference 2012,n,
               Ireland, November 21-23, 2012},
  booktitle = {Wireless Days},
  publisher = {IEEE},
  year      = {2012},
  isbn      = {978-1-4673-4402-9},
  ee        = {http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/mostRecentIssue.jsp?punumber=6387977},
  bibsource = {DBLP, http://dblp.uni-trier.de}
}

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