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Channel Bonding (CB) combines two adjacent frequency bands to form a new, wider band to facilitate high data rate transmissions in MIMO-based 802.11n networks. However, the use of a wider band with CB can exacerbate interference effects. Furthermore, CB does not always provide benefits in interference-free settings, and can even degrade performance in some cases. The authors conduct an in-depth, experimental study to understand the implications of CB. Based on this study they design an auto-configuration framework, ACORN, for enterprise 802.11n WLANs. ACORN integrates the functions of user association and channel allocation since the study reveals that they are tightly coupled when CB is used. They show that the channel allocation problem with the constraints of CB is NP-complete.
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