, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 1267-1278
Date: 22 Jun 2007

Effect of the contention window size on performance and fairness of the IEEE 802.11 standard

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Abstract

IEEE 802.11 is a widely used standard for MAC and PHY layers of WLANs. Unfortunately, the access methods offered in this standard cannot support QoS (Quality of Service) for real-time traffics. Using multimedia applications over WLANs is increasing and, on the other hand, it seems that the access methods employed in this standard causes high variations in delay or jitter and wastes bandwidth due to collisions. There are many methods to enable DCF—basic access method in 802.11—with service differentiation and QoS. The difficulty in majority of these methods is unfair bandwidth allocation among low and high priority traffics at high loads resulting starvation for low priority traffics. In this paper, we modify the way that the CW (Contention Window) size is calculated after a successful transmission and study the effect of the CW size on performance and fairness. Results of our simulations show that the performance of DCF with this modification is better, specially, for traffics in which throughput is the most important parameter. Besides, this method provides better fairness among low and high priority traffics. We also employ a scheme to enable 802.11 with service differentiation which grants dynamic priority to low priority traffics to prevent starvation, specially, in high loads.