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An ability to accurately classify observed packet errors according to their root cause: physical layer or MAC layer contention, in 802.11 networks, opens up many opportunities for performance improvement at the both the MAC and IP layers. The authors investigate two orthogonal ways to achieve this, and present a methodology, the 'Map', for clearly visualizing the results free of packet size and rate 'Bias'. It is widely recognized that the fact that there are two significant sources of packet error in paths containing 802.11 wireless hop, one due to the wireless physical layer, and the other due to congestion over all hops, is an inherent cause of performance difficulties, and one that calls for cross layer solutions.
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