PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENTS IN WIRELESS LANs AND AD HOC NETWORKS WITH MULTIPLE-BEAM SMART ANTENNAS
Abstract (Summary)Wireless LANs are networks that are typically set up to provide data connectivity to an access point for a set of user nodes. In such localized networks, since all nodes have ``equal'' right to the bandwidth resources of the access point, the nodes compete for the common wireless medium in a distributed manner. Wireless ad hoc networks are extensions of wireless LANs such that nodes connect without the intervention of an access point. It is well known that such networks employ omnidirectional antennas at nodes and access points, adversely affecting throughput performance. In ad hoc networks, poor single hop performance results in poor multihop throughput, especially if some nodes are path ``bottlenecks''. In this work, we study and evaluate the performance improvement in wireless LANs and ad hoc networks with multiple-beam smart antennas. Our work examines a variety of issues that arise with the deployment of smart antennas at nodes, at different layers of the protocol stack, especially those related to medium access control, PHY-MAC interaction, scheduling, mulithop performance, and analytical bounds on achievable throughput. We propose schemes for medium access control with spatial multiplexing based on Carrier Sense Multiple Access (CSMA), to maximize one-hop throughput in wireless LANs and ad hoc networks. We develop an analytical model for the throughput in such networks for two different protocols, CSMA and Slotted Aloha, wherein nodes are equipped with smart antennas. Our model gives us insight into the choice of a medium access protocol based on the ambient traffic conditions, since we can predict the behavior of the protocol under different values of offered load. We also attempt to modify the basic protocols for improved performance with smart antennas. In addition, we examine the different types of smart antenna techniques that may be used at nodes of a mobile ad hoc network and study their relative merits and demerits. Further, we explore how efficient scheduling may be carried out in an ad hoc network where nodes are equipped with smart antennas, for which we study different heuristics. Finally, we perform multihop network simulation to evaluate the performance of multiple beam smart antennas at nodes in a distributed ad hoc network. Our analytical and simulation results are encouraging, and show that we can obtain drastic performance improvements in one-hop throughput with the use of smart antennas and suitably designed medium access protocols. Also, bottlenecks in congested areas (heavily loaded single hop) in multihop ad hoc networks may be cleared with such antennas. This provides tremendous improvement in the aggregate network throughput. In summary, our research on protocol design and throughput evaluation provides sufficient evidence for considering the deployment of smart antenna access points or nodes in wireless LANs and ad hoc networks.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2004