, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 259-275
Date: 13 Jul 2007

Angular MAC: a framework for directional antennas in wireless mesh networks

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Abstract

Capacity of wireless mesh networks can be enhanced through the use of smart directional antennas, which not only enable nodes to have high quality links but also increase network throughput by allowing spatial reuse. This paper proposes a new MAC protocol and framework, called Angular MAC (ANMAC) that enables directional antennas in wireless mesh networks. The protocols and algorithms of the ANMAC framework fit well with the requirements of mesh networks such as neighbor discovery and self-configuration, while providing significant throughput enhancements. The throughput enhancements are proven by comprehensive simulations with realistic antenna patterns, including performance comparisons of ANMAC with directional schemes using a similar node architecture and omni 802.11. Also, the effect of contention window size is analyzed and a dynamic contention window adaptation algorithm is proposed to maximize the throughput of the self-configuring mesh network, by taking instantaneous traffic conditions into account.