Implication of MAC Frame Aggregation on Empirical Wireless Experimentation

Date Added: Aug 2009
Format: PDF

Wireless network emulator testbeds have become increasingly important for realistic, at-scale experimental evaluation of new network architectures and protocols. Typically, wireless network performance measurements are made at multiple layers of the wireless protocol stack, i.e. link layer, MAC layer and network layer. This paper highlights the impact of layer 2 frame aggregation that is enabled by default in the software drivers for commodity wireless 802.11 devices while it is still not a part of the core 802.11 standard. Using experimental measurements, it is shown that this feature has an impact across a diverse set of wireless experiments and should be considered while comparing results.