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Successive interference cancellation (SIC) is an effective way of multipacket reception to combat interference. As conventional CSMA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access) is designed for single packet reception, it is unclear whether or not CSMA performs well to exploit the SIC capability. In this paper, we analyze the performance of a simple CSMA protocol in a network with SIC. For a given link, we derive the residing areas of an interfering node when simultaneous transmission is allowed and when the interference is harmful, respectively. We show that, though SIC provides many new transmission opportunities, CSMA cannot effectively exploit them. There is a fundamental tradeoff in a CSMA protocol between exploiting the transmission opportunities from SIC and capturing the harmful interference. In many cases, when CSMA achieves its best performance, almost all new transmission opportunities are not exploited. It is therefore very necessary to design a new distributed access protocol in wireless networks with SIC.
Date of Conference: 10-15 June 2012