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Dynamic Cross-Layer Association in 802.11-Based Mesh Networks

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4 Author(s)

In IEEE 802.11-based wireless mesh networks a user is associated with an access point (AP) in order to communicate and be part of the overall network. The association mechanism specified by the IEEE 802.11 standard does not consider the channel conditions and the AP load in the association process. Employing the mechanism in its plain form in wireless mesh networks we may only achieve low throughput and low user transmission rates. In this paper, we propose an association mechanism that is aware of the uplink and downlink channel conditions. We introduce a metric that captures the channel conditions and the load of the APs in the network. The users use this metric in order to optimally associate with the available APs. We then extend the functionality of this mechanism in a cross-layer manner taking into account information from the routing layer. The novelty of the mechanism is that the routing QoS information of the back haul is available to the end users. This information can be combined with the uplink and downlink channel information for the purpose of supporting optimal end-to-end communication and providing high end-to-end throughput values. We evaluate the performance of our system through simulations and we show that 802.11-based mesh networks that use the proposed association mechanism are more capable in meeting the needs of QoS-sensitive applications.

Published in:

INFOCOM 2007. 26th IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications. IEEE

Date of Conference:

6-12 May 2007