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An Estimated Delay Based Association Policy for Web Browsing in a Multirate WLAN

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2 Author(s)
Pradeepa, B.K. ; Broadcom, Bangalore, India ; Kuri, J.

Station-Access Point (STA-AP) association is an important function in IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN (WLAN) management. We obtain an association policy that can be implemented in centralized WLAN management devices, or in STAs, by taking into account explicitly two aspects of practical importance: (a) TCP-controlled short file downloads interspersed with read times (motivated by web browsing), and (b) different STAs associated with an Access Point (AP) at possibly different rates (depending on distance from the AP). Our approach is based on two steps. First, we consider an analytical model to obtain the aggregate AP throughput for long TCP-controlled file downloads when STAs are associated at k different rates r1, r2, ..., rk; this extends earlier work in the literature. Second, we present a 2-node closed queueing network model to approximate the expected average-sized file download time for a user who shares the AP with other users associated at a multiplicity of rates. These analytical results motivate the proposed association policy, called the Estimated Delay based Association (EDA) policy: Associate with the AP at which the expected file download time is the least. Simulations indicate that for a web-browsing type traffic scenario, EDA performs substantially better than other policies that have been proposed earlier. Crucially, the improved performance is sustained even in realistic evaluation scenarios, where the assumptions underpinning the analytical model do not hold. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that proposes an association policy tailored specifically for web browsing. Apart from this, our analytical results could be of independent interest.

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Network and Service Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 3 )