Buffer Sizing in 802.11 Wireless Mesh Networks

Kamran Jamshaid, Basem Shihada, Li Xia, Philip Levis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations


We analyze the problem of buffer sizing for TCP flows in 802.11-based Wireless Mesh Networks. Our objective is to maintain high network utilization while providing low queueing delays. The problem is complicated by the time-varying capacity of the wireless channel as well as the random access mechanism of 802.11 MAC protocol. While arbitrarily large buffers can maintain high network utilization, this results in large queueing delays. Such delays may affect TCP stability characteristics, and also increase queueing delays for other flows (including real-time flows) sharing the buffer. In this paper we propose sizing link buffers collectively for a set of nodes within mutual interference range called the 'collision domain'. We aim to provide a buffer just large enough to saturate the available capacity of the bottleneck collision domain that limits the carrying capacity of the network. This neighborhood buffer is distributed over multiple nodes that constitute the network bottleneck; a transmission by any of these nodes fully utilizes the available spectral resource for the duration of the transmission. We show that sizing routing buffers collectively for this bottleneck allows us to have small buffers (as low as 2 - 3 packets) at individual nodes without any significant loss in network utilization. We propose heuristics to determine these buffer sizes in WMNs. Our results show that we can reduce the end-to-end delays by 6× to 10× at the cost of losing roughly 5% of the network capacity achievable with large buffers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2011 IEEE Eighth International Conference on Mobile Ad-Hoc and Sensor Systems
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781457713453
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01


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