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Are All Bits Equal? - Experimental 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, retransmission and transmission rate adaptation are frame-level mechanisms designed for combating transmission errors. Recently practical sub-frame level schemes, such as frame combining and partial packet recovery, have been proposed by the research community. In this paper, the authors present experimental results obtained from their 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 combining mechanisms. They have constructed a number of IEEE 802.11 WLAN testbeds and conducted extensive experiments to study the characteristics of bit errors and their location distribution.

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