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Does the IEEE 802.11 MAC protocol work well in multihop wireless ad hoc networks?

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2 Author(s)
S. Xu ; City Univ. of New York, NY, USA ; T. Saadawi

The IEEE 802.11 MAC protocol is the standard for wireless LANs; it is widely used in testbeds and simulations for wireless multihop ad hoc networks. However, this protocol was not designed for multihop networks. Although it can support some ad hoc network architecture, it is not intended to support the wireless mobile ad hoc network, in which multihop connectivity is one of the most prominent features. In this article we focus on the following question: can the IEEE 802.11 MAC protocol function well in multihop networks? By presenting several serious problems encountered in an IEEE 802.11-based multihop network and revealing the in-depth cause of these problems, we conclude that the current version of this wireless LAN protocol does not function well in multihop ad hoc networks. We thus doubt whether the WaveLAN-based system is workable as a mobile ad hoc testbed

Published in:

IEEE Communications Magazine  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 6 )