Achieving proportional delay differentiation in wireless LAN via cross-layer scheduling

Yuan Xue, Kai Chen, Klara Nahrstedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Providing service differentiation in wireless networks has attracted much attention in recent research. Existing studies so far have focused on the design of differentiated media access algorithms. Some quality of service (QoS) metrics, such as queueing delay cannot be completely addressed by these approaches. Moreover, without a formalized service differentiation goal that quantifies the outcome of differentiation, the performance of most of the approaches fluctuates, especially in short time-scales. This paper addresses above problems by introducing the concept of proportional service differentiation, to the domain of wireless network and focuses on providing proportional delay differentiation in wireless LANs. Due to the unique characteristic of distributed medium sharing, the scheduling algorithm employed in wireline networks can not be applied directly to the context of wireless LANs. We argue that delay differentiation in wireless LAN can only be achieved through a joint packet scheduling at the network layer and distributed coordination at the media access control (MAC) layer. Therefore, we present a cross-layer waiting time priority (CWTP) scheduling algorithm. CWTP consists of two tiers: an intra-node waiting time priority (WTP) scheduler at the network layer and an inter-node distributed coordination function at the MAC layer. These two tiers coordinate via a mapping function, which maps the normalized waiting time at the network layer to the backoff time at the MAC layer. Two mapping schemes, namely linear mapping and piecewise linear mapping, are presented and evaluated in this paper. Extensive simulation results show that the CWTP algorithm can effectively achieve proportional delay differentiation in wireless LANs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-866
Number of pages18
JournalWireless Communications and Mobile Computing
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Service differentiation
  • Wireless LAN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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