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DCMA: A Label Switching MAC for Efficient Packet Forwarding in Multihop Wireless Networks

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3 Author(s)
Acharya, A. ; IBM Thomas J. Watson Res. Center, Hawthorne, NY ; Ganu, Sachin ; Misra, A.

This paper addresses the problem of efficient packet forwarding in a multihop, wireless "mesh" network. We present an efficient interface contained forwarding (ICF) architecture for a "wireless router," i.e., a forwarding node with a single wireless network interface card (NIC) in a multihop wireless network that allows a packet to be forwarded entirely within the NIC of the forwarding node without requiring per-packet intervention by the node's CPU. To effectively forward packets in a pipelined fashion without incurring the 802.11-related overheads of multiple independent channel accesses, we specify a slightly modified version of the 802.11 MAC, called data driven cut-through multiple access (DCMA) that uses multiprotocol label switching (MPLS)-like labels in the control packets, in conjunction with a combined ACK/RTS packet, to reduce 802.11 channel access latencies. Our proposed technique can be used in combination with "frame bursting" as specified by the IEEE 802.11e standard to provide an end-to-end cut-through channel access. Using extensive simulations, we compare the performance of DCMA with 802.11 DCF MAC with respect to throughput and latency and suggest a suitable operating region to get maximum benefits using our mechanism as compared to 802.11

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Selected Areas in Communications, IEEE Journal on  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 11 )