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Combating Hidden and Exposed Terminal Problems in Wireless Networks

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3 Author(s)
Lu Wang ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Hong Kong Univ. of Sci. & Technol., Kowloon, China ; Kaishun Wu ; Hamdi, M.

The hidden terminal problem is known to degrade the throughput of wireless networks due to collisions, while the exposed terminal problem results in poor performance by wasting valuable transmission opportunities. As a result, extensive research has been conducted to solve these two problems, such as Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA). However, CSMA-like protocols cannot solve both of these two problems at once. The fundamental reason lies in the fact that they cannot obtain accurate Channel Usage Information (CUI, who is transmitting or receiving nearby) with a low cost. To obtain additional CUI in a cost-efficient way, we propose a cross layer design, FAST (Full-duplex Attachment System). FAST contains a PHY layer Attachment Coding, which transmits control information independently on the air, without degrading the effective throughput of the original data traffic, and a MAC layer Attachment Sense, which utilizes the PHY layer control information to identify the hidden and exposed nodes in real time. We theoretically analyze the feasibility of the Attachment Coding, and then implement it on a GNU Radio testbed consisting of eight USRP2 nodes. We also conduct extensive simulations to evaluate the performance of FAST, and the experimental results show that FAST can effectively solve both the hidden and the exposed terminal problems, and improve the average throughput by up to 200% over CSMA in practical ad-hoc networks.

Published in:

Wireless Communications, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 11 )