Rate control in the mac80211 framework: Overview, evaluation and improvements

Yin, Wei, Hu P. and Indulska, Jadwiga (2015) Rate control in the mac80211 framework: Overview, evaluation and improvements. Computer Networks, 81 289-307. doi:10.1016/j.comnet.2015.02.019

Author Yin, Wei
Hu P.
Indulska, Jadwiga
Title Rate control in the mac80211 framework: Overview, evaluation and improvements
Journal name Computer Networks   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1389-1286
Publication date 2015-04-22
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.comnet.2015.02.019
Volume 81
Start page 289
End page 307
Total pages 19
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
From version 2.6.22, the mac80211 framework has been incorporated as part of the stock kernel in Linux. This means millions of Linux based devices depend on this framework to provide wireless networking. The framework provides functionalities and interfaces for wireless device drivers (e.g., ath5k) to delegate common tasks to the kernel and to exchange information between physical and upper layers. One of these tasks is rate control at the MAC layer, which uses a metric to evaluate the channel conditions and an algorithm to select a transmission rate that achieves the best performance objective (e.g., max throughput) for the given conditions. To the best of our knowledge, a comprehensive analysis of this framework and its rate control mechanisms does not exist. This paper is the first comprehensive study on rate control mechanisms supported by the mac80211 framework, including overview, evaluation and potential improvements of these mechanisms. In addition to proposing a way to solve the oscillation problem in one of the mechanisms, we propose and evaluate an adaptive and low-cost solution to address collisions due to the hidden terminal problem that has not been considered by both mechanisms. The results show more than 40% improvement if the proposed solution is used when hidden terminals are present.
Keyword 802.11 networks
MAC rate control
mac80211 framework
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering Publications
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