All Bits Are Not Equal - A Study of IEEE 802.11 Communication Bit Errors

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Executive Summary

In IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN (WLAN) systems, techniques such as acknowledgement, retransmissions, and transmission rate adaptation, are frame-level mechanisms designed for combating transmission errors. Recently sub-frame level mechanisms such as frame combining have been proposed by the research community. In this paper, the authors present results obtained from the bit error study for identifying sub-frame error patterns because they believe that identifiable bit error patterns can potentially introduce new opportunities in channel coding, network coding, Forward Error Correction (FEC), and frame were combining mechanisms. They have constructed a number of IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN testbeds and conducted extensive experiments to study the characteristics of bit errors and their location distribution.

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