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The paper presents a detailed discussion of various issues involved in designing a medium access control (MAC) protocol for multihop wireless networks with nodes employing multiple beam smart antennas. Multiple beam smart antennas can form several beams simultaneously and can initiate concurrent transmissions or receptions .in them, thereby increasing the throughput of the bottleneck nodes. Traditional on-demand MAC protocols for omnidirectional and single beam directional antennas based on the IEEE 802.11 distributed coordination function (DCF) mechanism cannot take advantage of this unique capability of multiple beam antennas as they do not facilitate concurrent transmissions or receptions by a node. This paper introduces a novel protocol, hybrid MAC (HMAC), which enables concurrent packet reception (CPR) and concurrent packet transmission (CPT) at a node equipped with multiple beam antennas and is backward compatible with IEEE 802.11 DCF. Simulation results show the superior performance of HMAC in most ad hoc scenarios. Moreover, in some sample topologies, the throughput of HMAC is close to the theoretical maximum. The paper also presents a wireless mesh network architecture with heterogeneous antenna technologies and illustrates the advantages of employing multiple beam smart antennas and HMAC in such networks.
Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:19 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: April 2008