On the Shaping Introduced by IEEE 802.11 Nodes in Long-Range Dependent Traffic
Fractal or scaling phenomena, such as self-similarity and long-range dependence, have been detected in network traffic, with important implications for network performance. This paper describes how the characteristics of traffic change when it traverses IEEE 802.11 networks. First, a simple, unidirectional traffic scenario with two nodes has been simulated. This scenario and two more general situations that include the hidden node situation and the effect of relaying (which appears in multihop communications) have been replicated in a real testbed. The most significant results are the smoothing effect of the MAC mechanisms on the traffic at the highest frequencies, while at the lowest frequencies a mitigation of fractality seems to be caused by packet loss induced by propagation impairments, with an overall effect of mitigation of the scaling characteristics on the output traffic. On the other hand, the scenarios with traffic aggregation show an increase of fractality.
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