A rate-adaptive MAC protocol for multi-hop wireless networks

G. Holland, N. Vaidya, P. Bahl

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Wireless local area networks (W-LANs) have become increasingly popular due to the recent availability of affordable devices that are capable of communicating at high data rates. These high rates are possible, in part, through new modulation schemes that are optimized for the channel conditions bringing about a dramatic increase in bandwidth efficiency. Since the choice of which modulation scheme to use depends on the current state of the transmission channel, newer wireless devices often support multiple modulation schemes, and hence multiple data rates, with mechanisms to switch between them. Users are given the option to either select an operational data rate manually or to let the device automatically choose the appropriate modulation scheme (data rate) to match the prevailing conditions. Automatic rate selection protocols have been studied for cellular networks but there have been relatively few proposals for W-LANs. In this paper we present a rate adaptive MAC protocol called the Receiver-Based AutoRate (RBAR) protocol. The novelty of RBAR is that its rate adaptation mechanism is in the receiver instead of in the sender. This is in contrast to existing schemes in devices like the Wave-LAN II [15]. We show that RBAR is better because it results in a more efficient channel quality estimation which is then reflected in a higher overall throughput Our protocol is based on the RTS/CTS mechanism and consequently it can be incorporated into many medium access control protocols including the widely popular IEEE 802.11 protocol. Simulation results of an implementation of RBAR inside IEEE 802.11 show that RBAR performs consistently well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages15
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Event7th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking - Rome, Italy
Duration: Jul 16 2001Jul 21 2001


Other7th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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