Enhancement of wireless networks with heterogeneous antennas
In recent years, wireless communication infrastructures have been widely deployed for both personal and business applications. IEEE 802.11 series Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) standards attract lots of attention due to their low cost and high data rate. Wireless ad hoc networks which use IEEE 802.11 standards are one of hot spots of recent network research. Designing appropriate Media Access Control (MAC) layer protocols is one of the key issues for wireless ad hoc networks. ^ Existing wireless applications typically use omni-directional antennas. When using an omni-directional antenna, the gain of the antenna in all directions is the same. Due to the nature of the Distributed Coordination Function (DCF) mechanism of IEEE 802.11 standards, only one of the one-hop neighbors can send data at one time. Nodes other than the sender and the receiver must be either in idle or listening state, otherwise collisions could occur. The downside of the omni-directionality of antennas is that the spatial reuse ratio is low and the capacity of the network is considerably limited. ^ It is therefore obvious that the directional antenna has been introduced to improve spatial reutilization. As we know, a directional antenna has the following benefits. It can improve transport capacity by decreasing interference of a directional main lobe. It can increase coverage range due to a higher SINR (Signal Interference to Noise Ratio), i.e., with the same power consumption, better connectivity can be achieved. And the usage of power can be reduced, i.e., for the same coverage, a transmitter can reduce its power consumption. ^ To utilizing the advantages of directional antennas, we propose a relay-enabled MAC protocol. Two relay nodes are chosen to forward data when the channel condition of direct link from the sender to the receiver is poor. The two relay nodes can transfer data at the same time and a pipelined data transmission can be achieved by using directional antennas. The throughput can be improved significant when introducing the relay-enabled MAC protocol. ^ Besides the strong points, directional antennas also have some explicit drawbacks, such as the hidden terminal and deafness problems and the requirements of retaining location information for each node. Therefore, an omni-directional antenna should be used in some situations. The combination use of omni-directional and directional antennas leads to the problem of configuring heterogeneous antennas, i e., given a network topology and a traffic pattern, we need to find a tradeoff between using omni-directional and using directional antennas to obtain a better network performance over this configuration. ^ Directly and mathematically establishing the relationship between the network performance and the antenna configurations is extremely difficult, if not intractable. Therefore, in this research, we proposed several clustering-based methods to obtain approximate solutions for heterogeneous antennas configuration problem, which can improve network performance significantly. ^ Our proposed methods consist of two steps. The first step (i.e., clustering links) is to cluster the links into different groups based on the matrix-based system model. After being clustered, the links in the same group have similar neighborhood nodes and will use the same type of antenna. The second step (i.e., labeling links) is to decide the type of antenna for each group. For heterogeneous antennas, some groups of links will use directional antenna and others will adopt omni-directional antenna. Experiments are conducted to compare the proposed methods with existing methods. Experimental results demonstrate that our clustering-based methods can improve the network performance significantly. ^
Engineering, Electronics and Electrical
"Enhancement of wireless networks with heterogeneous antennas"
(January 1, 2009).
ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU.