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Conventional wireless broadcast protocols rely heavily on the 802.11-based CSMA/CA model, which avoids interference and collision by conservative scheduling of transmissions. While CSMA/CA is amenable to multiple concurrent unicasts, it tends to degrade broadcast performance significantly, especially in lossy and large-scale networks. In this paper, we propose a new protocol called Chorus that improves the efficiency and scalability of broadcast service with a MAC/PHY layer that allows packet collisions. Chorus is built upon the observation that packets carrying the same data can be effectively detected and decoded, even when they overlap with each other and have comparable signal strengths. It resolves collision using symbol-level interference cancellation, and then combines the resolved symbols to restore the packet. Such a collision-tolerant mechanism significantly improves the transmission diversity and spatial reuse in wireless broadcast. Chorus' MAC-layer cognitive sensing and scheduling scheme further facilitates the realization of such an advantage, resulting in an asymptotic broadcast delay that is proportional to the network radius. We evaluate Chorus' PHY-layer collision resolution mechanism with symbol-level simulation, and validate its network-level performance via ns-2, in comparison with a typical CSMA/CA-based broadcast protocol. Our evaluation validates Chorus's superior performance with respect to scalability, reliability, delay, etc., under a broad range of network scenarios (e.g., single/multiple broadcast sessions, static/mobile topologies).
Date of Publication: Jan. 2013