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Based on whether the competing active nodes are forwarding packets of the same flow, the channel access contention in multi-hop wireless networks can be classified into intra-flow contention and inter-flow contention. In this paper, the authors analyze the effect of intra-flow contention on multi-hop network performance. First, they demonstrate that intra-flow contention makes up a large proportion of contention in the network and may severely degrade the network performance. Then, to understand the performance improvement by eliminating intra-flow contention, they consider an ideal MAC based on 802.11 DCF where intra-flow contention is eliminated. They analyze the performance of the ideal MAC by proposing a three-dimensional Markov model.
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