802.11 media access algorithms

C. Scott Ananian cscott at laptop.org
Sat Apr 16 16:30:34 EDT 2011

Michael dropped by the OLPC offices on Friday afternoon and got me
started paging in mesh stuff a couple of days early.
The attached paper was at the top of my stack two years ago; it
describes how the 802.11 "Distributed Coordination Function" breaks
down in dense networks (both for standard access points and for
802.11s mesh).  It also proposes a tweak to the DCF which greatly
improves performance in dense networks.  It works best when all nodes
in the network use the new DCF, but improves the situation even if
only half of the network nodes are using the enhanced DCF.

This paper was written in 2006; there may be even better approaches
known now.  It's a promising jumping-off point into an investigation
into how to improve dense network performance (with and without mesh).

      ( http://cscott.net )
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