Link layer multicasting with smart antennas: No client left behind

Souvik Sen, Jie Xiong, Rahul Ghosh, Romit Roy Choudhury

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Wireless link layer multicast is an important service primitive for emerging applications, such as live video, streaming audio, and other content telecasts. The broadcast nature of the wireless channel is amenable to multicast because a single packet transmission may be received by all clients in the multicast group. However, in view of diverse channel conditions at different clients, the rate of such a transmission is bottlenecked by the rate of the weakest client. Multicast throughput degrades severely. Attempts to increase the data rate result in lower reliability and higher unfairness. This paper utilizes smart beamforming antennas to improve multicast performance in wireless LANs. The main idea is to satisfy the stronger clients with a high-rate omnidirectional transmission, followed by highrate directional transmission(s) to cover the weaker ones. By selecting an optimal transmission strategy (using dynamic programming), we show that the multicast throughput can be maximized while achieving a desired delivery ratio at all the clients. We use testbed measurements to verify our main assumptions. We simulate our protocol in Qualnet, and observe consistent performance improvements over a range of client topologies and time-varying channel conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication16th IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols, ICNP'08
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event16th IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols, ICNP'08 - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Oct 19 2008Oct 22 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Network Protocols, ICNP
ISSN (Print)1092-1648


Other16th IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols, ICNP'08
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software


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