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ACORN: An Auto-Configuration Framework for 802.11n WLANs

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7 Author(s)
Arslan, M.Y. ; Univ. of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA, USA ; Pelechrinis, K. ; Broustis, I. ; Singh, S.
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The wide channels feature combines two adjacent channels to form a new, wider channel to facilitate high-data-rate transmissions in multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO)-based IEEE 802.11n networks. Using a wider channel can exacerbate interference effects. Furthermore, contrary to what has been reported by prior studies, we find that wide channels do not always provide benefits in isolation (i.e., one link without interference) and can even degrade performance. We conduct an in-depth, experimental study to understand the implications of wide channels on throughput performance. Based on our measurements, we design an auto-configuration framework called ACORN for enterprise 802.11n WLANs. ACORN integrates the functions of user association and channel allocation since our study reveals that they are tightly coupled when wide channels are used. We show that the channel allocation problem with the constraints of wide channels is NP-complete. Thus, ACORN uses an algorithm that provides a worst-case approximation ratio of O(1/Δ + 1), with Δ being the maximum node degree in the network. We implement ACORN on our 802.11n testbed. Our evaluations show that ACORN: 1) outperforms previous approaches that are agnostic to wide channels constraints; it provides per-AP throughput gains ranging from 1.5 × 6×; and 2) in practice, its channel allocation module achieves an approximation ratio much better than the theoretically predicted O(1/Δ + 1).

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Networking, IEEE/ACM Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 3 )