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In this paper we propose mathematical models to tackle the WLAN planning problem. Our approach aims at maximizing network efficiency by taking into account the inter-AP domain interference and the access mechanism. Both the single-channel and the multiple-channel WLAN planning problems are considered. We give different formulations which capture at different levels of detail the effect of interference on the network efficiency. In order to evaluate the quality of the proposed models, we obtain the optimal solutions for synthetic network instances, and propose heuristics to get suboptimal solutions in a reasonable computing time. We show that the networks planned according to our approach feature higher efficiency than the ones planned using classical models, like the minimum-cardinality set covering problem (SCP), by privileging network solutions with low-power APs installed. The achieved gain reaches 167% in particular network scenarios. Moreover, we test the obtained solutions through simulation and real-life testbed implementation; both analyses show that the networks planned with the proposed approaches are the ones with the highest saturation throughput with respect to those configurations obtained with SCP.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2007