Throughput Analysis in 802.11 WLANs Using TCP

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Executive Summary

There is a vast literature on the throughput analysis of the IEEE 802.11 Media Access Control (MAC) protocol. However, very little has been done on investigating the interplay between the collision avoidance mechanisms of the 802.11 MAC protocol and the dynamics of upper layer transport protocols. In this paper, the authors tackle this issue from an analytical perspective. Specifically, they develop Markov chain models to compute the distribution of the number of active stations in an 802.11 Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) when long-lived Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connections compete with finite-load User Datagram Protocol (UDP) flows. By embedding these distributions in the MAC protocol modeling, they derive approximate but accurate expressions of the TCP and UDP throughput.

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