Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


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Communication engineering and systems

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Doctor of philosophy (Ph.D) to the Dublin Institute of Technology, 2013.


IEEE 802.11 wireless devices need to select a channel in order to transmit their packets. However, as a result of the contention-based nature of the IEEE 802.11 CSMA/CA MAC mechanism, the capacity experienced by a station is not fixed. When a station cannot win a sufficient number of transmission opportunities to satisfy its traffic load, it will become saturated. If the saturation condition persists, more and more packets are stored in the transmit queue and congestion occurs. Congestion leads to high packet delay and may ultimately result in catastrophic packet loss when the transmit queue’s capacity is exceeded. In this thesis, we propose an autonomous channel selection algorithm with neighbour forcing (NF) to minimize the incidence of congestion on all stations using the channels. All stations reassign the channels based on the local monitoring information. This station will change the channel once it finds a channel that has sufficient available bandwidth to satisfy its traffic load requirement or it will force its neighbour stations into saturation by reducing its PHY transmission rate if there exists at least one successful channel assignment according to a predicting module which checks all the possible channel assignments. The results from a simple C++ simulator show that the NF algorithm has a higher probability than the dynamic channel assignment without neighbour forcing (NONF) to successfully reassign the channel once stations have become congested. In an experimental testbed, the Madwifi open source wireless driver has been modified to incorporate the channel selection mechanism. The results demonstrate that the NF algorithm also has a better performance than the NONF algorithm in reducing the congestion time of the network where at least one station has become congested.