MIMO-aware Medium Access Control in IEEE 802.11 Networks
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Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs) are dynamically self-organized and self-configured, where the nodes in the network automatically establish an ad hoc network and maintain mesh connectivity. These properties make WMNs a key technology for next generation wireless networking. However, supporting Quality of Service (QoS) to enable multimedia services is still one of the major issues in next-generation WMNs. In distributed systems like WMNs, the Medium Access Control (MAC) layer is considered very important in the IEEE 802.11-based wireless networks, as it supports many crucial operational functions. Hence, QoS support in WMNs can be enhanced through the efficient cross-layer design of MAC protocols that utilizes advanced physical layer technologies viz Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) with its multiple spatial channels that are capable of simultaneous receive or transmit streams. MIMO has become a very attractive technology in providing support for different QoS requirements. In this thesis we propose a novel QoS MIMO-aware MAC Protocol (QMMP). QMMP is a MAC protocol framework that exploits the MIMO system gains to boost QoS support. The proposed MAC framework includes the following components. The first component enables concurrent sharing of the increased MIMO bandwidth, i.e., instead of allocating all the spatial channels to one connection, connections can concurrently share the increase bandwidth via splitting the spatial channels. The second component reduces the medium access collisions problem. In distributed systems like WMNs, medium access collisions have a noticeably negative impact on resource (bandwidth) utilization as they leave the bandwidth unutilized for a long time. To address this problem, we propose a spatial channels sharing scheme during medium contention period. The third component boosts the bandwidth utilization during data transmission. We propose resource management schemes that adapt the physical data rate and the aggregation frame length according to the instantaneous channel quality. Then we propose a QoS-aware bandwidth provisioning mechanism that performs effective bandwidth distribution to further boost QoS support.