No time to countdown

Souvik Sen, Romit Roy Choudhury, Srihari Nelakuditi
2011 Proceedings of the 17th annual international conference on Mobile computing and networking - MobiCom '11  
Conventional WiFi networks perform channel contention in time domain. This is known to be wasteful because the channel is forced to remain idle while all contending nodes are backing off for multiple time slots. This paper proposes to break away from convention and recreate the backing off operation in the frequency domain. Our basic idea leverages the observation that OFDM subcarriers can be treated as integer numbers. Thus, instead of picking a random backoff duration in time, a contending
more » ... me, a contending node can signal on a randomly chosen subcarrier. By employing a second antenna to listen to all the subcarriers, each node can determine whether its chosen integer (or subcarrier) is the smallest among all others. In fact, each node can even determine the rank of its chosen subcarrier, enabling the feasibility of scheduled transmissions after every round of contention. We develop these ideas into a Back2F protocol that migrates WiFi backoff to the frequency domain. Experiments on a prototype of 10 USRPs confirm feasibility, along with consistent throughput gains over 802.11. Trace based simulations affirm scalability to larger, real-world network topologies.
doi:10.1145/2030613.2030641 dblp:conf/mobicom/SenCN11 fatcat:voohmmihlnexrjd7baqwnpen4i