Accurate and low-cost link capacity estimation in IEEE 802.11-based wireless mesh networks

Guerin, Jonathan (2013). Accurate and low-cost link capacity estimation in IEEE 802.11-based wireless mesh networks PhD Thesis, School of Information Technol and Elec Engineering, The University of Queensland.

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Author Guerin, Jonathan
Thesis Title Accurate and low-cost link capacity estimation in IEEE 802.11-based wireless mesh networks
School, Centre or Institute School of Information Technol and Elec Engineering
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2013
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Marius Portmann
Jadwiga Indulska
Total pages 144
Total colour pages 31
Total black and white pages 113
Language eng
Subjects 090609 Signal Processing
100510 Wireless Communications
100503 Computer Communications Networks
Formatted abstract
The Effective Link Capacity (ELC) metric is a new link quality metric for wireless networks for estimating maximum achievable link capacity. The ELC value of a link represents the achievable throughput a link can reach given the current prevailing link conditions. The metric is able to calculate this value from existing data traffic to aid in decision making such as routing protocols and rate adaptation algorithms. It gathers data either by inspecting outgoing frames itself, or by querying this data from the host kernel.

We describe, design and implement the ELC metric as a Linux user-level process and evaluate the estimation accuracy on a conducted testbed. We find that ELC evaluates the Link Throughput with great accuracy. Further explorations lead us to suggest a new model, which we present as the Model-Based Effective Link Capacity (mELC) metric. While evaluating mELC, we find that non-standard behaviour apparent in our commodity wireless cards, thereby decreasing the estimation accuracy of mELC. Once we account for these non-standard behaviours, we find that mELC increases its estimation accuracy compared to ELC. Unfortunately, the modifications are impractical for general use, and we conclude that the ELC metric is the best trade-off between accuracy and practicality for estimating link throughput.

Finally, we present initial explorations into applications of ELC, including as an improvement in the Minstrel rate-adaptation algorithm. We that the modified Minstrel algorithm RCELC which uses ELC is able to choose greater-throughput links when compared to the original. We also explore using ELC as a replacement for AirTime in the IEEE 802.11s Hybrid Wireless Mesh Protocol. In initial investigations, we find that ELC significantly outperforms two different implementations of AirTime. Both of these works suggest great applications for ELC in the future.
Keyword Computer science
Wireless communications
Wireless mesh networks

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Created: Mon, 18 Nov 2013, 10:59:50 EST by Mr Jonathan Guerin on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service