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This paper proposes a semi-random backoff (SRB) method that enables resource reservation in contention-based wireless LANs. The proposed SRB is fundamentally different from traditional random backoff methods because it provides an easy migration path from random backoffs to deterministic slot assignments. The central idea of the SRB is for the wireless station to set its backoff counter to a deterministic value upon a successful packet transmission. This deterministic value will allow the station to reuse the time-slot in consecutive backoff cycles. When multiple stations with successful packet transmissions reuse their respective time-slots, the collision probability is reduced, and the channel achieves the equivalence of resource reservation. In case of a failed packet transmission, a station will revert to the standard random backoff method and probe for a new available time-slot. The proposed SRB method can be readily applied to both 802.11 DCF and 802.11e EDCA networks with minimum modification to the existing DCF/EDCA implementations. Theoretical analysis and simulation results validate the superior performance of the SRB for small-scale and heavily loaded wireless LANs. When combined with an adaptive mechanism and a persistent backoff process, SRB can also be effective for large-scale and lightly loaded wireless networks.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2013