On lower bounds for MAC layer contention in CSMA/CA-based wireless networks
Proceedings of the 2005 joint workshop on Foundations of mobile computing - DIALM-POMC '05
Wireless LANs operating within unlicensed frequency bands require random access schemes such as CSMA/CA, so that wireless networks from different administrative domains (for example wireless community networks) may co-exist without central coordination, even when they happen to operate on the same radio channel. Yet, it is evident that this lack of coordination leads to an inevitable loss in efficiency due to contention on the MAC layer. The interesting question is, which efficiency may be
... d by adding coordination to existing, unrelated wireless networks, for example by self-organization. In this paper, we present a methodology based on a mathematical programming formulation to determine the parameters (assignment of stations to access points, signal strengths and channel assignment of both access points and stations) for a scenario of co-existing CSMA/CA-based wireless networks, such that the contention between these networks is minimized. We demonstrate how it is possible to solve this discrete, nonlinear optimization problem exactly for small problems. For larger scenarios, we present a genetic algorithm specifically tuned for finding near-optimal solutions, and compare its results to theoretical lower bounds. Overall, we provide a benchmark on the minimum contention problem for coordination mechanisms in CSMA/CA-based wireless networks.