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Soft-TDMAC: A Software-Based 802.11 Overlay TDMA MAC with Microsecond Synchronization

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2 Author(s)
Djukic, P. ; Meshlntelligence, Inc., Ottawa, ON, Canada ; Mohapatra, P.

We implement a new software-based multihop TDMA MAC protocol (Soft-TDMAC) with microsecond synchronization using a novel system interface for development of 802.11 overlay TDMA MAC protocols (SySI-MAC). SySI-MAC provides a kernel independent message-based interface for scheduling transmissions and sending and receiving 802.11 packets. The key feature of SySI-MAC is that it provides near deterministic timers and transmission times, which allows for implementation of highly synchronized TDMA MAC protocols. Building on SySI-MAC's predictable transmission times, we implement Soft-TDMAC, a software-based 802.11 overlay multihop TDMA MAC protocol. Soft-TDMAC has a synchronization mechanism, which synchronizes all pairs of network clocks to within microseconds of each other. Building on pairwise synchronization, Soft-TDMAC achieves tight network-wide synchronization. With network-wide synchronization independent of data transmissions, Soft-TDMAC can schedule arbitrary TDMA transmission patterns. For example, Soft-TDMAC allows schedules that decrease end-to-end delay and take end-to-end rate demands into account. We summarize hundreds of hours of testing Soft-TDMAC on a multihop testbed, showing the synchronization capabilities of the protocol and the benefits of flexible scheduling.

Published in:

Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

March 2012

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