LAC: Load-Aware Channel Selection in 802.11 WLANs

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Executive Summary

Dense deployments of hybrid WLANs result in high levels of interference and low end-user throughput. Many frequency allocation mechanisms for WLANs have been proposed by a large body of previous studies. However, none of these mechanisms considers the load that is carried by APs in terms of channel conditions, number of affiliated users as well as traffic-load, in conjunction. In this paper, the authors propose LAC, a load-aware channel allocation scheme for WLANs, which considers all the above performance determinant factors. LAC incorporates an airtime cost metric into its channel scanning process, in order to capture the effects of these factors and select the channel with the maximum long-term throughput. They evaluate LAC through extensive OPNET simulations, for many different traffic scenarios.

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