Channel condition based contention window adaptation in IEEE 802.11 WLANs

Kunho Hong, Su Kyoung Lee, Kyungsoo Kim, Yoon Hyuk Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)


In IEEE 802.11 standard, the backoff parameters of its collision avoidance mechanism can be very inefficient and hence, the network becomes far from its optimal behavior. There have been several mechanisms to tune the Contention Window (CW) with the aim to achieve the optimal throughput in the IEEE 802.11 WLAN, however, the mechanisms do not specifically address a proper setting of the backoff parameters under nonsaturated conditions. Noting that typical 802.11 networks are usually non-saturated, in this paper, we analytically derive the CW sizes that maximize the WLAN system throughput under both saturated and non-saturated conditions. Then, using the CWsizes derived, we propose a distributed algorithm that enables each station to dynamically adapt its CW according to the channel congestion status. The performance of the proposed algorithm is investigated through simulation. Simulation results indicate that our proposed backoff algorithm provides a remarkable performance improvement in terms of the delay experienced by a packet in the MAC layer, while maintaining an optimal throughput close to the theoretical throughput limit of the IEEE 802.11 Distributed Coordination Function (DCF) access scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6148124
Pages (from-to)469-478
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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