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'Good to Repeat': Making Random Access Near-Optimal with Repeated Contentions

  • Authors: Baiocchi A.; Garlisi D.; Lo Valvo A.; Santaromita G.; Tinnirello I.
  • Publication year: 2020
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Recent advances on WLAN technology have been focused mostly on boosting network capacity by means of a more efficient and flexible physical layer. A new concept is required at MAC level to exploit fully the new capabilities of the PHY layer. In this article, we propose a contention mechanism based on Repeated Contentions (ReCo) in frequency domain. It provides a simple-to-configure, robust and short-term fair algorithm for the random contention component of the MAC protocol. The throughput efficiency of ReCo is not sensitive to the number of contending stations, so that ReCo does not require adaptive tuning of the access parameters for performance optimization. Efficiency and robustness is gained through the power of repeated contention rounds. We also apply the ReCo concept to the emerging IEEE 802.11ax standard, showing how it can boost performance of random access with respect to the current version of IEEE 802.11ax OFDMA Back-Off (OBO). Our proposal is supported by an experimental test-bed that realizes ReCo by means of simultaneous transmission and reception of short tones, which is feasible on top of programmable OFDM PHY layers.