Link-Layer Multicast in Smart Antenna Based 802.11n Wireless LANs
2013 IEEE 10th International Conference on Mobile Ad-Hoc and Sensor Systems
In wireless local area networks (WLANs), link-layer multicast is a promising technology for many multimedia applications, e.g., video conference, as multicast frames can reach multiple clients simultaneously. However, the efficiency of multicast in WLANs is unsatisfactory since multicast frames are transmitted at low data rates to reach clients with poor channel quality. Moreover, the reliability of multicast cannot be guaranteed either, as multicast transmissions are not acknowledged. Some
... nowledged. Some recent works have utilized smart antennas to improve multicast performance. But most of them require customized hardware and are not designed for the latest IEEE 802.11 standard, 802.11n WLANs. In this paper, we consider link-layer multicast in 802.11n WLANs with smart antennas. We partition clients into several groups, then select an antenna pattern from smart antennas and a multicast rate for each group, and transmit the same frame to each group. We first examine the gain of smart antennas and reliability of various 802.11n data rates for multicast in indoor WLANs via experiments. We then present the system model for multicast over smart antennas and formulate the problem into a mixed integer program. After that, we propose an optimal algorithm for the mixed integer program, under the condition that the packet reception ratio (PRR) of all antenna patterns and data rates is known for every client. As clients join and leave the network frequently and the wireless channel is timevarying, we also propose an on-line algorithm that is able to adapt the partition of clients, antenna pattern and multicast rate for each group dynamically, based on PRR reports from clients. We have implemented the on-line algorithm on off-the-shelf WLAN products and conducted extensive experiments to evaluate the performance. The results show that the proposed algorithm can significantly improve multicast throughput compared to other strategies, and at the same time guarantee high PRR for all clients. Index Terms-Wireless local area networks (WLANs), IEEE 802.11n standard, Multicast, Smart antennas, Rate adaptation.