The Impact of Channel Usage Information on the Throughput Achieved by 802.11-Style MACs in Urban Mesh Networks

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Executive Summary

It is well known that in dense mesh networks, CSMA-based MACs such as IEEE 802.11 achieve lower throughput than optimal spatial TDMA. This paper explores the degree to which the difference in throughput is partly due to a lack of channel usage information and the degree to which the difference is due to packet ordering. To this end, the throughput achieved by a large number of hypothetical MAC algorithms is studied via simulation of a dense urban mesh network. The MACs algorithms explored range from simple modifications of IEEE 802.11 to schemes where global information is assumed to be known.

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