|Abstract:||In this paper, we devise, in compliance with the IEEE 802.11e protocol , a novel MAC-centric approach, called MAC contention control (MCC), to maximizing the bandwidth utilization and achieving proportional bandwidth allocation. We first show that approaches based on estimating the number of competing nodes and then setting the contention window size may not converge (and in some cases diverge) because of network dynamics. Then, by studying the optimality condition derived in our prior work , we identify two parameters (referred to as control references) that remain approximately constant when the network operates at the optimal operational point, regardless of the number of competing nodes in each AC. We instrument MCC to measure these control references, compare measurement results to their optimal control reference levels, and adjust the packet dequeuing rate from the interface queues in an additive-increase-multiplicative-decrease (AIMD) fashion and with respect to pre-specified bandwidth allocation ratio associated with its AC. In some sense, MCC controls the rate of passing packets from the interface queues to the MAC access function, and thus practically controls the effective number of competing nodes.
We have conducted an extensive simulation study, and demonstrated the superiority of MCC to 802.11e in terms of both the achievable network throughput and the capability of achieving proportional bandwidth allocation. This, coupled with the fact that MCC does not require change in firmware and can be practically deployed, makes MCC a viable approach to contention control in IEEE 802.11e-operated WLANs.