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National University of Computer & Emerging

Sciences
Department of Electrical Engineering

IEEE 802.11 EDCA Steady State


Modeling as Non-Preemptive Priority
Queues: Delay and Throughput Analysis

Farah Nadeem
Degree of MS Electrical Engineering
2014

Advisor
Dr. Arshad Hussain

Certificate of Approval

It is certified that the research work presented in this thesis, entitled IEEE 802.11 EDCA
Steady State Modelling as Non-Preemptive Priority Queues: Delay and Throughput
Analysis was conducted by Farah Nadeem under the supervision of Dr. Arshad Hussain.
No part of this thesis has been submitted anywhere else for any other degree.
This thesis is submitted to the Department of Electrical Engineering in partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
at the
National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences
Lahore, PAKISTAN
June, 2014
Candidate Name: Farah Nadeem

Signature: ______________________

Examination Committee:
a) Name: Dr. Arshad Hussain
Signature: ______________________
Professor
Dept. of Electrical Engineering
National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences
b) Name: Mr. Shafiq-ur-Rahman
Signature: ______________________
Associate Professor
Computer Science Department
National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences
c) Name: Dr. Asim Loan
Signature: ______________________
Professor
Dept. of Electrical Engineering
University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore
Dr. Arshad Hussain_____________________________________________________
Head of Department of Electrical Engineering, National University of Computer and Emerging
Sciences, Lahore Campus

Authors Declaration
I, Farah Nadeem, Roll No. 12L-5102, certify that the work is original and has not been
previously submitted for assessment in any other course or institution, except where specifically stated.

Farah Nadeem
Roll Number: 12L-5102

Date: July 2, 2014

ii

Plagiarism Undertaking
I, Farah Nadeem, Roll No. 12L-5102, certify that the ideas, experimental work, results
and conclusions set out in this thesis are entirely my own effort under the guidance of Dr.
Arshad Hussain, except where otherwise indicated and acknowledged.

Farah Nadeem
Roll Number: 12L-5102

Date: July 2, 2014

iii

Abstract
In a bid to deliver the stringent quality of service (QoS) guarantees to real time multimedia applications, the IEEE 802.11e enhanced distribution channel access (EDCA) has
been incorporated in the original IEEE 802.11 standard. Both simulations and analytical
modeling have been extensively used by the research community for studying the service
differentiation mechanism of the EDCA. Provision of requisite delay and throughput for
real time traffic entails differentiated parameters including contention window size, nonuniform back-off and channel access time. Given these features, most analytical models
do not accurately capture EDCA performance. In addition, more accurate models are
complex, often employing techniques including fixed point iteration, which needs to be
evaluated from scratch for each new scenario. This thesis builds an analytical model that
accurately captures the differentiation mechanism of IEEE 802.11 EDCA. Each access category has been modeled as a single dimension M/G/1 non-preemptive priority queue. The
basic purpose of this model is to provide service delay. Including the effect of contention
free bursting, a framework has been developed for the medium access (MAC) layer delay
and further, the aggregate queuing delay for real time traffic in saturation and non-ideal
channel conditions. The throughput has also been calculated. The framework does not
require iterative solution. Results show close agreement between the analytical model
and simulation. This model has the capability to provide a solid foundation for effective
admission control, since accurate delay prediction, in addition to throughput, is required
for effective resource utilization when additional streams are admitted.

iv

Acknowledgments
It has been a privilege to work under the guidance of Dr. Arshad Hussain (Professor &
Head of Department of Electrical Engineering, NUCES, Lahore). I would like to thank
him for his invaluable guidance, patience and motivation.
I would like to extend my gratitude to Professor Shafiq ur Rahman (Head of Department of Computer Sciences, NUCES Lahore) who gave his valuable time for evaluation of
my work. I would also like to thank Dr. Bushra Anjum (Department of Computer Science,
NUCES Lahore) and Dr. Asim Loan (Department of Electrical Engineering, University
of Engineering and Technology, Lahore) for their insightful feedback. In addition, I would
like to acknowledge the valuable review and suggestions made by Dr. Imran Cheema
(Department of Electrical Engineering, NUCES, Lahore).My special thanks to my friends
and family, in particular my son, Mustafa. Their constant encouragement and support
has made this milestone possible.

Contents
Certificate of Approval

Authors Declaration

ii

Plagiarism Undertaking

iii

Abstract

iv

Acknowledgments

Notation

1 Introduction

2 Problem Statement and Contributions

2.1

Problem Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.2

Contributions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3 Background and Literature Review


3.1

Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3.1.1

Overview of IEEE 802.11 DCF and EDCA . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3.1.2

MAC Layer Delay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3.2

Bianchis Models for DCF and EDCA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

3.3

Existing Analytical Models for EDCA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12


3.3.1

3.4

Prior Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Queuing Theory and its Application to IEEE 802.11 EDCA . . . . . . . . . 15


3.4.1

M/G/1 and G/M/1 Queues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

3.4.2

G/G/1 Queues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

4 Analytical Model for Delay and Throughput

18

4.1

Analytical Framework for EDCA: M/G/1 Queues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

4.2

Queuing Analysis for EDCA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

4.3

Calculation of E[V ], E[V 2 ] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

4.4

4.3.1

E[Vbo ] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

4.3.2

E[Vbusy ] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Special Cases: Light Traffic Load . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24


vi

vii

CONTENTS
4.5

Steady State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
4.5.1

4.6

E[Vbusy ] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Throughput . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

5 Simulation and Results

29

5.1

Simulation Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

5.2

Computational Efficiency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

5.3

Results for Voice Access Category . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

5.4

5.3.1

Busy Time Tbusy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

5.3.2

Retransmission Probability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

5.3.3

Vacation Time V . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

5.3.4

Delay Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

5.3.5

Throughput Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

5.3.6

Effect of Retransmission Probability: Throughput . . . . . . . . . . 36

5.3.7

Jitter: Simulation Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Results for Video Access Category . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37


5.4.1

Busy Time Tbusy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

5.4.2

Retransmission Probability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

5.4.3

Vacation Time V . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

5.4.4

Delay Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

5.4.5

Throughput Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

5.4.6

Effect of Retransmission Probability: Throughput . . . . . . . . . . 41

5.4.7

Jitter: Simulation Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

5.5

Comparison with Existing Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

5.6

Impact of Retransmission Probability

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

5.6.1

System Throughput . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

5.6.2

Per Station Delay and Jitter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

6 Discussion and Conclusion

45

6.1

Comparison with Existing Models

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

6.2

Conclusion and Future Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

A Presented Paper NTMS 2014

55

B Published Paper IJWI

60

List of Figures
3.1

IEEE 802.11e EDCA [1, Fig. 49] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4.1

Residual Time for Voice and Video Vbo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

5.1

First Moment of Busy Time for VO AC: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals . . . . . 31

5.2

Second Moment of Busy Time for VO AC: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals . . . . 31

5.3

Retransmission Probability for VO AC: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

5.4

First Moment of Vacation Time: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals . . . . . . . . . 33

5.5

Second Moment of Vacation Time: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals . . . . . . . . 33

5.6

Delay Results: Analytical Vs Simulation: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

5.7

Throughput Results VO AC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

5.8

Effect of Retransmission Probability on System Throughput . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

5.9

Jitter Results: Simulation: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

. . . . . 32

. . . . 34

5.10 First Moment of Busy Time for VI AC: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals . . . . . 37
5.11 Second Moment of Busy Time for VI AC: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals . . . . 37
5.12 Retransmission Probability for VI AC: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals . . . . . . 38
5.13 First Moment of Vacation Time: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals . . . . . . . . . 39
5.14 Second Moment of Vacation Time: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals . . . . . . . . 39
5.15 Delay Results: Analytical Vs Simulation: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals . . . . 40
5.16 Throughput Results for VI AC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
5.17 Effect of Retransmission Probability on System Throughput . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
5.18 Jitter Results: Simulation: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
5.19 Comparison with Tadayons Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
5.20 Effect of Retransmission Probability on System Throughput VO AC . . . . . . . 43
5.21 Effect of Retransmission Probability on System Throughput VI AC . . . . . . . . 44
5.22 Effect of Retransmission Probability on Delay and Jitter VO AC . . . . . . . . . 44
5.23 Effect of Retransmission Probability on Delay and Jitter VI AC . . . . . . . . . . 44
6.1

Comparison of Busy Time and Vacation Time for VO AC . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

6.2

E[Tbusy ] under heavy loads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

6.3

2
E[Tbusy
] under heavy loads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

6.4

Effect of Retransmission Probability on Delay and Jitter VO AC . . . . . . . . . 48

viii

List of Tables
3.1

Summary of Existing Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

5.1

MAC Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

5.2

EDCA Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

5.3

Traffic Specification

6.1

Comparison of Presented Work with Existing Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

ix

Notation

Rate of service for arriving packets

Packet arrival rate 


Utilization factor

AC

Access Category

ACK

Acknowledgment

AIF SV I

Arbitrary inter-frame space for Video AC

AIF SV O

Arbitrary inter-frame space for Voice AC

BE

Best Effort

BK

Background

CAC

Call Admission Control

CBR

Constant Bit Rate

CDF

Cumulative Distribution Function

CSM A/CA

Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance

CWmax

Maximum contention window size

CWmin

Minimum contention window size

DCF

Distributed Coordination Function

DIF S

DCF IFS

EDCA

Enhanced distributed channel access

EIF S

Extended IFS

F IF O

First in first out

IF S

Inter-Frame Space

Number of transmission events not involving the tagged station under


steady state

Ni

Number of packets in queue ahead of the ith arriving packet

nT XOP

number of packets transmitted during the TXOP interval

M AC

Medium access control

pV I

Collision/retransmission probability for Video AC

pV O

Collision/retransmission probability for Voice AC

PCF

Point Coordination Function

P DF

Probability distribution function

PHY

Physical

QoS

Quality of Service

Ri

Residual time for the ith arriving packet in queue

NOTATION
RTP/UDP/IP

Real-Time Transport Protocol/ User Datagram Protocol/Internet Protocol

RTS/CTS

Request to send/Clear to send

RV

Random Variable

Tbusy

Time for channel events not involving the tagged station

TM AC

MAC Layer delay

Tno ack

RTT delay for detection of transmission failure

Tslot

Slot Length

TCP/IP

Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol

T XOP

Transmission opportunity

Vacation Interval

VV I

Vacation Interval for Video AC

VV O

Vacation Interval for Voice AC

Vbo

Vacation due to back-off

Vbusy

Vacation due to other channel events and physical layer delays

VBR

Variable Bit Rate

VI

Video

VO

Voice

VoIP

Voice over IP

Wi

Waiting time in queue for the ith packet

WmV I

Minimum contention window size for Video AC

WmV O

Minimum contention window size for Voice AC

Yi

Aggregate vacation time seen by the ith packet

Chapter 1

Introduction
It is evident that wireless communication technology has enjoyed unprecedented success
both in terms of deployment and development. One of the most popular examples is Wi-Fi,
which is pervasive across professional and personal usage alike. Originally, the evolution
of Wi-Fi was to support data traffic, while voice, and later video traffic, were handled
by dedicated cellular systems. However, the focus has been shifting towards providing
support for heterogeneous traffic, both by cellular and Wi-Fi networks. This presents
challenges when it comes to providing adequate quality of service to users.
The Wi-Fi standard is also known as the IEEE 802.11. Given the mass deployment and
popularity of the IEEE 802.11, extensive effort has gone into providing a solid framework
for quality of service (QoS) provision for real time traffic. A major contribution towards
this end is the IEEE 802.11e [1]. Like the legacy IEEE 802.11, the 802.11e provides both
a centralized medium access mechanism, and a decentralized mechanism, the enhanced
distributed channel access (EDCA). Service differentiation is introduced to provide higher
priority to voice and video traffic in a bid to ensure greater throughput and smaller delays,
so as to provide better performance.
While the 802.11e provides a basic framework for QoS, to ensure acceptable performance, particularly under heavy loads, effective admission control is required. For this
purpose, accurate delay prediction is required for voice and video streams. While extensive
work has been put into analytical modeling for delay prediction, less focus has been on
developing tractable models for real time applications. Thus there is a dearth of simpler
models for run time admission control.
Given the nature of the delays that occur due to contention for channel access and
actual transmission, it is possible to model this process as a single dimensional queue.
The time for contention can be viewed as a reservation (vacation) interval from the perspective of classical queuing theory, which precedes each packet transmission. While the
differentiated channel access parameters are designed so as to provide higher priority to
voice and video, the vacation interval of each access categorys (ACs) (higher or lower
priority) queue overlaps the transmissions of other ACs; thus the priority is catered for
3

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

within the vacation interval.


This approach has been adopted in this work towards developing a computationally
easier model that truly incorporates the unique parameters of EDCA that serve to provide
QoS to voice and video traffic. The main contribution of this model is that it simplifies
the analysis problem to a single dimension queue, which effectively predicts the delays
associated with real time traffic under dynamic network scenarios. The prioritization and
effect of channel access parameters, namely the arbitrary inter frame space (AIFS) and
contention window (CW) size, are catered for within the vacation interval.
The rest of the document is organized as follows: section 2 details the issue addresses
and describes the unique contributions of this work towards delay and throughput analysis
of Wi-Fi networks. Section 3 gives an insight into the background of the problem, including
the details of the IEEE 802.11 and significance of MAC layer delay, as well as the summary
of the existing analytical models for EDCA performance metrics and the applicability of
queuing theory for the analytical framework. Section 4 introduces the proposed model:
classic single dimension partially gated queuing model with vacations. The concluding
sections present the simulation results and future work. Since the focus is on delay for
real time voice and video traffic, the analysis is conducted for VO and VI access categories.
It can be easily extended for best effort and background traffic.

Chapter 2

Problem Statement and


Contributions
Detailed bellow is the problem at hand, which has been addressed by this work. In
addition, the unique contributions of this work in the field of analytical modeling of EDCA
have been discussed.

2.1

Problem Statement

There has been a great focus on deriving analytical models to accurately capture the
service differentiation mechanism of the IEEE 802.11 EDCA and translate it to accurate
results for delay and throughput. The best case scenario has always been at making a
descriptive model based solely on the number of active stations within an area. This has,
however, lead to very complex models that become computationally intractable. Even at
very high complexity, these models fail to capture all results of the EDCA. This thesis has
addressed this gap in analytical models by providing a queuing theory based framework
for analysis of service delay, over all waiting time, and throughput results for real time
voice and video access categories. The model presents the access categories as single
dimensional non-preemptive priority queues. The model caters to both the channel access
differentiation parameters (CW and AIFS) as well as TXOP. Theoretically, this model
presents a tractable and complete framework for analysis of performance metrics at the
MAC layer of the enhanced distributed channel access.

2.2

Contributions

Most analytical models for throughput and delay results are based on three or four dimensional Markov Chain models, followed by standard queuing models. The alternate
approach has been to develop very complex probability distributions for the service time
to facilitate calculation of waiting time and delays. In this context, the main contribution
of this work has been to reduce the framework for delay and throughput analysis for EDCA
to single dimension queues. Although this approach presents a reduction in complexity
as compared to most existing models, the entire set of features of the EDCA is catered
5

CHAPTER 2. PROBLEM STATEMENT AND CONTRIBUTIONS

for. Thus this model is novel in terms of decreased complexity and greater accuracy.
A novel contribution of this work has been the application of the memoryless property
to arrive at elegant expressions for vacation time for EDCA. While various other works
have applied the description of a memoryless process, it has been angled to arrive at a
Markov chain model. In this context, a recent work presented by Bianchi [2] indicates that
this may not be the accurate case. An alternate approach is presented here that offers a
comprehensive analysis utilizing the memoryless nature of the transmission/retransmission
process.
Real time traffic requires guarantees in terms of throughput, delay and jitter. The
model developed in this thesis helps to highlight the effect of erroneous transmission on
these metrics. From the developed mathematical framework, it becomes apparent that
beyond an error probability of 0.25, the expected value of delay becomes infinite. From
here, it can be extended to the case of jitter: beyond a value of error probability of 0.0625,
the expected value of jitter becomes infinite. This presents a limit on the probability of
packet retransmission caused by both collisions and channel impairments. While this fact
seems to predict severely limited service in case of heavy load, simulations show that this
is not the case. Since the protocol employed is carrier sense multiple access with collision
avoidance (CSMA-CA), the process of back-off window initiation ensures that the error
probability settles down after a short period of high packet transmission errors. Thus the
protocol ensures that the retransmission probability remains within bound; however, the
increasing back-off window size means that the delay increases.

Chapter 3

Background and Literature


Review
The details of the medium access mechanism that characterize the enhanced distributed
channel access are described in this section. This serves as a basis to highlight the complexities related to analytical modeling and analysis of the same. Existing models are also
detailed, with particular emphasis on steady state Markov chain models. In this regard,
it is pertinent to mention the research already conducted in this area.

3.1

Background

The details of the MAC layer for IEEE 802.11 are presented in this section. Primary focus
is on the binary exponential back-off process of the collision avoidance process, which
lends itself to analytical modeling. The inherent nature of this protocol dictates that the
service time is probabilistic. This feature has been exploited for the purpose of creating
frameworks for analysis. In addition, the importance of the MAC layer delay is also
given, which is the aggregate of the service time and the queuing delay under saturation
conditions. Service delay at the MAC layer is defined as the time that a packet arrives at
the head of queue till it is either transmitted with a corresponding ACK (acknowledgment)
received, or it is dropped due to expiration of retry limit.

3.1.1

Overview of IEEE 802.11 DCF and EDCA

Being designed for the wireless medium, legacy DCF builds upon carrier sense multiple
access/ collision avoidance (CSMA/CA). Although a centralized medium access mechanism, point coordination function (PCF), is also specified by the original standard, the
decentralized mechanism has gained wider applicability. This is due to simplicity, ease
of implementation and support for flexible network configurations. Collision avoidance is
achieved through the back-off algorithm and the inter-frame space (IFS) inset [1].
The back-off algorithm is implemented as follows: when a packet arrives at the head
of queue, if the medium is sensed idle for a DCF IFS (DIFS), it is transmitted. If the
7

CHAPTER 3. BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE REVIEW

medium is sensed busy, the back-off process is initiated, whereby the station randomly
picks a back-off counter value from the interval [0,CWmin]. The counter is decremented
every time the medium is sensed idle for a DIFS, frozen otherwise. When the counter
attains a value of zero and the channel is idle, the packet is transmitted. The correct
reception of the packet is confirmed via an ACK from the receiving station. In case more
than one station transmits simultaneously, there is a collision on the medium. The collision
is sensed by all the listening stations by the erroneous check-sum. When the transmitting
station senses the collision, it doubles the contention window size and repeats the back-off
process. For each subsequent collision, the contention window is doubled till it reaches the
maximum contention window size. The packet is dropped if the transmission retry limit
is reached and the packet suffers a collision. To ensure prompt sending of ACK when a
packet is received correctly, the receiving station waits a short IFS (SIFS) before transmitting. This precludes channel contention. In addition to the ACK, a four way hand shaking
procedure Request to send/Clear to send (RTS/CTS) is also offered by the mechanism.
This is particularly useful for larger packet sizes, but induces greater overheads for smaller
packet sizes.
Here it is pertinent to mention that packet loss occurs from both collision and channel
impairments. From the perspective of a station, both are treated the same, and are not
differentiable. Thus, for the purpose of this analysis, the term error probability refers to
both channel outage and collision. The expected retransmission probability incorporates
both the probabilities of collision and channel imperfections.
p = 1 (1 pch )(1 pcoll )

(3.1)

Where p is the retransmission probability, pch is the channel outage probability and pcoll
is the expected collision probability.
The entire traffic originating from a station forms a single first out first in (FIFO)
queue. Hence all traffic streams have equal channel access priority. To provide real time
traffic flows with higher priority, EDCA introduces service differentiation based on the
nature of traffic; the arriving traffic is categorized into four access categories (ACs), VO
(voice), VI (video), BE (best effort) and BK (background), in descending order of priority.
Each AC then contends independently for the medium. Channel access parameters are assigned different values for each AC; thus each AC has a different channel access priority [1].
The parameters employed to this end are the arbitrary IFS (AIFS) instead of the
uniform DIFS, different minimum and maximum contention windows, and an additionally
defined parameter transmission opportunity (TXOP). TXOP, when set to a non-zero value,
allows the channel to transmit multiple packets in succession once it has gained medium
access. Channel access differentiation ensures delay requirements are met, while TXOP
additionally guarantees greater throughput. To increase the probability of greater channel
access to colliding stations immediately following a collision, an extended IFS (EIFS) is

CHAPTER 3. BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE REVIEW

defined. The concept of virtual collision caters to the scenario when two ACs within a
station simultaneously decrement their back-off counters to zero; the higher priority AC
is given channel access, while the lower priority AC undergoes the post collision back-off
process. The different EDCA intervals are illustrated in fig 3.1.

Figure 3.1: IEEE 802.11e EDCA [1, Fig. 49]

To achieve the necessary service guarantees, values of channel access parameters are
assigned so that higher priority ACs have a higher channel access probability than lower
priority ACs. These parameters are the arbitrary IFS (AIFS) instead of the uniform DIFS,
and differentiated CWmin and CWmax . In addition, TXOP is defined for each category.
This enables contention free bursting for an AC once it has obtained channel access, for
a duration that does not exceed the TXOP limit for that AC. The AC that has stringent
delay requirements, VO, is assigned smaller AIFS, CWmin and CWmax than other ACs.
Since the VI AC has the greatest throughput requirement, it is provided longer medium
access through larger TXOP limit. In addition, an extended IFS (EIFS) is defined by the
standard. The purpose is to provide the stations that were involved in a collision greater
likelihood to access the channel as compared to other stations in the post collision period.
When two ACs within the same station simultaneously decrement their back-off counters
to zero, a virtual collision occurs. Channel access is granted to the higher priority stream
and the lower priority stream undergoes the post-collision back-off process, with doubled
CW (up to CWmax ).

3.1.2

MAC Layer Delay

The MAC layer delay is the aggregate of service time and queuing delay. It is an important
performance metric, particularly from the perspective of real time multimedia applications.
Effective algorithms for admission control require that the delay for such applications is
kept within bound when new sessions are admitted within the existing resources. The
importance of the queuing delay is manifest. MAC frames transmit packets from upper
layers including Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) or RealTime Transport Protocol/ User Datagram Protocol/Internet Protocol (RTP/UDP/IP).
Higher layer protocols are indifferent to the working of the MAC layer, and will observe
the total delay the packet is subjected to, but not the different causes associated with
it [3, Pp. 623]. Consequently, both the queuing delay and the medium access delay are
necessary for meaningful analysis of the delay of 802.11e EDCA.

CHAPTER 3. BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE REVIEW

10

In unsaturated cases, with less generated traffic, the average length of queue is usually
less than a packet, and the medium access delay is dominant. This case represents a
scenario where there are channel resources freely available to cater for the traffic, hence
ensuring QoS is not an issue. An addition to that, the medium access delay then is usually
in the order of few milliseconds, and is not significant in the context of overall end-to-end
delay experienced for Internet communication. When the channel becomes saturated,
features of 802.11e EDCA for service differentiation become significant. In cases when
saturation condition is reached, and the inter arrival time becomes comparable to the
mean service delay, the queuing delays begins to grow dramatically, while the service
times attains a somewhat constant value (dependent on the number of active stations) [4].
In this scenario, both the considerations of finite buffer size, and expiration of a packets
useful life due to extensive delay, come into consideration.

3.2

Bianchis Models for DCF and EDCA

A two dimensional Markov chain model for binary exponential back-off in DCF was originally proposed by Bianchi [5], and forms the basis of subsequent models proposed for both
DCF and EDCA. Bianchi models the exponential back-off for the DCF using a discrete
time two dimensional Markov chain. One dimension caters to the back-off counter value,
which is non-Markovian since it is dependent on the number of retries suffered. Thus the
second dimension describes the back-off stage. A significant contribution of this model
is a constant collision probability, p which stems from the decoupling assumption. A
point of interest is the time scale adopted; the interval between consecutive time slots may
include the event of back-off counters freezing, this indicates that the interval is likely to
span an entire packet transmission. Thus the time between two consecutive time slots does
not relate directly to the system time. The model yields an elegant expression for transmission probability, since the constant collision probability allows for Markovian analysis.
In case the retry limit is not considered, as in this model, the resulting expression is closed
form. In actual DCF and EDCA, the probability of decrementing of back-off counter
and transmission is conditional on the state of the channel. This has not been explicitly
catered for in the model.
In [2], Bianchi presented a thorough and accurate framework for analysis of EDCA
throughput. Instead of a constant collision probability assumption, the modeling relies on
the evolution of the back-off counter with time. This ultimately leads to a bi-dimensional
stochastic process which models the back-off counter and the retransmission stage. This
is, however, not a Markov chain. Each AC [k = 0, 1, 2, 3] is modeled independently so as
to incorporate the service differentiation mechanism. The system is defined as having c
ACs, i.e. k = 1, ..., c. There are nk stations of each AC. The modeling for each AC starts
with the evolution of the back-off counter value, which is denoted by stochastic process
bk (.) Defining k as the difference between the kth AIFS (AIFS of AC k) and the minimum

11

CHAPTER 3. BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE REVIEW


AIFS, the initial random time in a cycle before transmission event (x(t)) is given as:
x(t) = min (bk (t) + k )
k=1,..,n

(3.2)

Over time, the back-off counter value attains a steady state distribution, which is represented as:
Bk (j) = lim P bk (t) = j
t

(3.3)

Where the cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the back-off counter value is given
by:
(
k (i) =

0
Pi1

i0

s=0 Bk (s)

otherwise

(3.4)

The model hinges around the steady state distribution of the back-off counter value. From
the perspective of one particular station h, the probability (Qh (i)) that no other station
transmits before the ith time slot is given by:
Qc
Qh (i) =

k (i k )]nk
1 h (i h )

k=1 [1

(3.5)

Probability Th (i) that h sees the first transmission at time slot i is given by Th (i) =
Qh (i) Qh (i + 1).
From there on, the model moves to the bi-dimensional stochastic process representing
the retransmission stage sk (t), sk 0, 1, ?Rk (where Rk is the retransmission limit for AC
k) and the back-off counter value bk (t), bk 0, 1, ...CWSk (where CWSk is the contention
window at the Sk retransmission stage). Steady state transition probabilities expressed
in terms of Th (i)&Qh (i), as opposed to p in case of DCF. Defining the steady state
distribution of the bi-dimensional process sk (t), bk (t):
Y
k

(s, j) = lim P {sk (t) = i, bk (t) = k}


t

(3.6)

This in turn is used to find the steady state distribution for the back-off counter:
Rk Y
X
Bk (j) =
(s, j)

(3.7)

s=0 k

The set of above equations is solved recursively using fixed point iteration until convergence is achieved. The model is then used to demonstrate that variation in the collision
probability. The model has been used for throughput performance. This work presents a
more accurate model for the EDCA with a computational complexity comparable to that
of multi-dimensional models. The assumptions made in this work include ideal channel
conditions, saturation condition, no internal collisions and TXOP disabled. The significant
contribution of this work has been to illustrate that the collision probability no longer remains constant, but changes significantly with each passing time slot after a channel event.
The results presented in the paper depict close agreement between the analytical model
and the simulated results for throughput performance.

CHAPTER 3. BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE REVIEW

3.3

12

Existing Analytical Models for EDCA

Since the decentralized mechanism has enjoyed greater success, EDCA has been the focus
of several analytical models, which have been introduced to study its effectiveness in providing QoS support, particularly in terms of throughput and delay.
Extensive research has been conducted on the QoS support provided by the EDCA.
Since EDCA aims at providing support for real time traffic, the primary focus has been on
studying throughput and delay. A survey of models existing in literature provides insight
into the research directions and the limitations of existing works. This section explores
the prominent contributions made to date in the area of delay and throughput analysis
for the purpose of efficient admission control. This includes analytical modeling of EDCA
for throughput; modeling of service delay for DCF and EDCA and extensions to queuing
delay for overall MAC layer delay.
Various analytical models have been put forward to predict throughput in different
network scenarios; often these frameworks use bi-dimensional Markovian chain to model
EDCA. For the analysis of delay, which is particularly important for voice and video traffic, service time distribution for DCF and EDCA has also been modeled in literature. In
saturation conditions, however, the service delay solely does not depict the service provided, since queuing delay becomes a dominating factor as traffic loads increase. Hence
queuing analysis has been conducted based on service delay distribution, since it has direct
bearing on the QoS of delay sensitive applications. Primarily, the area of queuing delay
has been explored for DCF.
The main purpose behind these models is to provide a solid basis for analysis of the
EDCAs service differentiation mechanism under steady state conditions. Thus they are
theoretically rigorous and achieve a high level of accuracy. To accurately capture the
nature of the binary exponential back-off and the AIFS differentiation mechanism, existing models are usually very complex. The basis is generally multi-dimensional Markov
chain models [68] and bi-dimensional stochastic process [2]. Even with this basis, several
assumptions have to be made to make the analysis possible, the foremost being an assumption of a steady network with fixed number of active stations. Generally, in the case
of wifi networks, this is not the case, since the number of active stations changes frequently.
A comprehensive expression for the pdf of service delay has been derived in [9] for
DCF. The expression relies on a steady state analysis based on a bi-dimensional Markov
chain model, which makes it difficult to extend for EDCA. Also, under heavy traffic loads,
the delays are under-predicted; in admission control, this would yield unacceptable delays.
The basic analytical model has also been extended for overall delay using queuing
analysis. This work, while extensively done for DCF, has been less explored for EDCA.
A main contribution in this regard is the work presented in [10]. Comprehensive analysis

CHAPTER 3. BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE REVIEW

13

has been conducted, however, as most other analytical models, the underlying assumption
is that of steady state network. In terms of results, the model severely over-predicts the
delays.
The main thrust of analytical modeling of the performance of 802.11 EDCA is on
estimation of throughput, frame dropping rate and the average delay of MAC layer. In
EDCA, AIFS differentiation leads to collision probabilities that differ during different time
slots following any channel event (transmission, collision etc.). In order to capture this
effect, the constant collision probability can no longer be applied. However, this then takes
away the desirable tractability of the Markovian analysis. In order to retain this analysis,
EDCA has been modeled along the same lines as the bi-dimensional Markov model, incorporating more states to model the differentiation parameters [7, 8, 11]. These models are
increasingly complex, and build upon an assumption that is violated in actual EDCA. A
significantly different approach has been adopted in Bianchis model presented in section
3.2.
The service time (delay) represents a probabilistic distribution. Attempts have been
made to model this distribution; building upon analytical frameworks, service delay has
been studied in several works [9, 10, 12]. In [12], the delay distribution for DCF has been
derived based on the Markov chain model. A subsequent conclusion drawn in this work
has been to approximate the service time as a Poisson distribution.This work has been
extended in [10] for EDCA. In a recent work by Tadayon et al. on DCF [9] the probability generating function (PGF) of service time distribution has been derived, which in
turn yields the first and higher moments of service delay, incorporating imperfect channel
conditions. However, both the first and second moments of service delay, as predicted by
the analytical model, fall behind the simulation results under high traffic conditions.
While Markov chain models are abundant in literature, there has been less focus on
predicting the queuing delay. Given four different service time distributions and four different inter arrival processes, the EDCA represents a multi-class system. Existing queuing
models in literature treat each AC as an independent single server queue. While extensive work has not been done for EDCA, queuing delay of DCF has been derived using
different queuing disciplines. These include, in order of increasing complexity: M/G/1
[1214], M/GI/1/K [15], G/M/1 [10] and G/G/1 [8, 10, 16]. The disciplines M/G/1 and
G/G/1 interpret the 802.11 MAC as a single server which follows a general distribution
(in terms of service time). For meaningful queuing analysis, either the service distribution
itself is needed, or estimates of the first two moments of the distribution are needed. An
alternative approach is to approximate the service time with a distribution that is easier
to analyze, particularly Poisson [17]. An alternate approach for finding the service delay
entails finding the average of the back-off counter [9], and modeling the behavior of the
back-off counter as it evolves over time. The average value of the back-off counter represents, in the steady state, the number of non-transmitting slots that a station undergoes

14

CHAPTER 3. BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE REVIEW


between two successive successful transmissions.

The most comprehensive queuing analysis for EDCA has been in conducted by Chen
et al. [10]. Being one of the few results presented for EDCA queuing analysis, this model
sets a benchmark. The probability distribution for the service delay has been derived
from the Markov chain model. The model relies on constant collision probability, and
approximates the service distribution by treating the model as a signal flow graph. Based
on an earlier work on DCF [12], the service time distribution has also been modeled as
a Poisson distribution, in addition to a general distribution. Since the service time has
either been taken as general or approximated using Poisson, this has led to either the
G/G/1 or G/M/1 discipline. However, in both cases, the results diverge significantly from
the simulation results, particularly in the case of higher traffic loads. This presents a contradiction in terms of the approximation used; the approximation should become exact as
traffic load increases, instead of diverging. The key contributions and assumptions of the
above models are summarized in table 3.1.

Table 3.1: Summary of Existing Models


Models

Problem Addressed
Assumptions

Methodology

Results

Bianchis Model for


EDCA Throughput
[2]
Analytical model for
saturation throughput of EDCA
Saturation
conditions; Independent
station
behavior;
Perfect channel; No
virtual
collisions;
TXOP disabled

Tadayons Model for


DCF Service Delay
[9]
Service delay distribution for DCF

Chens Model for


EDCA
Queuing
Delay [10]
Queuing analysis for
EDCA

Saturation
conditions;
Imperfect
channel;
Constant
collision probability

Steady state distribution of backoff window;


bidimensional stochastic process for the
binary exponential
back-off
Analytical throughput results agree
with
simulation
results

PGF of delay distribution from bidimensional Markov


chain model

Both
saturation
and non-saturation
conditions; Perfect
channel;
Constant
collision probability;
Infinite buffer size;
TXOP disabled; No
virtual collisions
First and second delay of service delay
from bi-dimensional
Markov
chain;
G/G/1 and G/M/1
queuing disciplines

Analytical
model
significantly underpredicts first and
second moment of
service delay under
heavy traffic

Both
analytical
models significantly
over predict delay, particularly at
higher traffic loads

CHAPTER 3. BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE REVIEW

15

The focus on steady state results has left a gap in terms of analytically tractable
models for the purpose of real time admission control. This has provided motivation
for developing a simpler model for delay analysis, which is based on a single dimensional
queue for each access category (AC). The idea is that a simpler model, that does not make
limiting assumptions about the network, can provide a better framework for estimating
performance metrics such as delay and throughput in real deployment scenarios.

3.3.1

Prior Research

In the context of analytical modeling of EDCA and call admission control for the same,
two works have been previously conducted [17, 18] (Appendix A and B). The analytical
model presented in [18] is based on a multidimensional Markov chain model, and aims at
capturing AIFS differentiation at less complexity. The results are comparable with models
of greater intricacy; this can be explained based on the fact that even four dimensional
Markov chain models can only go so far in capturing all the features of the EDCA. Thus
added states only cause a very small increase in analytical accuracy. In this context, the
existing work aims to simplify the problem to a more tractable single dimensional queuing
model.
The measurement based call admission control algorithm presented in [17] relies on
the instantaneous error probability to make decisions regarding adding new streams to
the system. While this simple algorithm provides favorable results in terms of balance
between network utilization and QoS, the system still admits greater flows than optimal.
In this regard, there is a need to introduce better criteria for admission control, particularly
in terms of the bound on probability of error/retransmission for real time access categories
and data traffic. The existing work builds on these deficiencies, incorporating other factors
that effect system performance in addition to error probability. What is of particular
interest is the bound on error probability that guarantee acceptable quality of service for
real time traffic such as delay, jitter and throughput. While in [17], the upper limit on
error probability have been picked as a qualitative measure, an effort has been made in
this work to quantify these limits based on analytical results.

3.4

Queuing Theory and its Application to IEEE 802.11


EDCA

The purpose of queuing analysis is to model the delays and lengths of queues. In the context of data networks, this provides a powerful tool for predicting delays. For the queuing
model to be accurate, traffic models are required which effectively describe the statistical
nature of the actual network traffic. Thus the overall results of the queuing analysis are
dependent on the selection of appropriate traffic models. Selection of traffic models, in
turn, is dependent on the nature of the traffic and the type of network under consideration
[19].

CHAPTER 3. BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE REVIEW

16

The two main parameters describing network traffic are: packet length and packet
inter-arrival distributions, the latter of which is of prime importance.Commonly used
traffic models for real time and best effort traffic include [20]:
Video traffic: Variable Bit Rate (VBR) video traffic is bursty, and shows strong
correlation. Applied models include On/Off traffic model, Markov models including
Markov modulated Poisson process.
Web Traffic: On/Off sources, Poisson, fluid models.
Voice traffic: Constant Bit Rate (CBR)
While voice traffic presents the simplest case, being constant bit rate, video and data
traffic pose a greater challenge. However, as indicated in [19, 20], Poisson arrival lends
well to analysis in queuing systems, and for most cases, gives a fairly accurate model for
most types of internet traffic.
Kendalls notation [21, Pp. 17] is used to describe and classify the queue. The standard
description using three factors is A/S/c, where A denotes the inter-arrival time, S denotes
the service time distribution and c denotes the number of servers. Additional factors may
be used to denote the buffer size, size of population to be served. When just three factors
are specified, then it is assumed that the buffer size and population being served are being
served are infinite and the queuing discipline is FIFO.
For the purpose of our analysis, the most important arrival and service distributions
are Poisson (or Markovian), denoted by M and general, denoted by G, and the system is a
single server system, i.e. c=1. The key parameters of interest in queuing analysis are the
mean waiting time in queue (W), total waiting time, i.e. queuing delay and service time
(T) and number of waiting packets in queue (N) [22, Pp. 153].
These parameters are defined in terms of the mean traffic arrival time E[t] = 1 , service
time with mean E[X] =

1
,

the second moment of service time E[X 2 ], and the channel

utilization factor = . In addition, two factors that are also employed are the coefficient
of variance of the service time, Cb2 =

b2
E[X 2 ]

where b2 is variance of service time and the

coefficient of variance of the arrival times, Ca2 =

a2
E[t2 ]

where a2 is variance of arrival time.

A fundamental relation is established between the waiting time and queue length by the
Littles Theorem [22, Pp. 152] N = T .

3.4.1

M/G/1 and G/M/1 Queues

The classic queuing theory utilizes the M/G/1 and the G/M/1 queues abundantly. The
assumption is that either the arrival process or the service time is Markovian; the other
distribution is general. These queues are duals of each other, thus the same analysis with
transformation is applicable to both queues. The Pollaczek-Khinchin (P-K) Formula is the
best descriptor for these queues. Coming to the M/G/1 queue, where the arrival process is

CHAPTER 3. BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE REVIEW

17

Markovian, and the service distribution is general (with a finite first and second moment),
the mean waiting time is given as:
E[T ] =

E[X 2 ]
2(1 )

(3.8)

From Littles theorem and 3.8, the mean number of waiting packets in the system is
given by:
E[N ] = +

2 E[X 2 ]
2(1 )

(3.9)

From the above equation, we see that there is a linear increase in N with variance of
service time. The average time spent in system by a data packet is given as:
E[W ] = E[X] +

E[X](1 + Cb2 )
2(1 )

(3.10)

Thus the delay is a function of the variation in service time.

3.4.2

G/G/1 Queues

When both the arrival times and service times are general independent and identically
distributed, the relevant queuing discipline is G/G/1. Let I denote the random variable
(RV) representing the idle time (I =

(1)
,

then the result for the waiting time is given

by [23, Pp. 306]:


E[W ] =

a2 + b2 + E[t2 ](1 2 ) I 2

2E[t](1 )
2I

(3.11)

An approximation to the above result is given by the Kingmans formula for the G/G/1
Queue [24], where the waiting time in the queue (Wq ) is given by:
E[Wq ] E[X]

Ca2 + Cb2
(1 )
2

(3.12)

Another commonly used approximation under heavy traffic is given in [22, Pp. 206],
i.e. as 1, approximation to the waiting time is:
E[W ] =

a2 + b2
2(1 )

(3.13)

This represents the upper bound on the waiting time in queue for heavy traffic loads.

Chapter 4

Analytical Model for Delay and


Throughput
The QoS support for real time voice and video streams provided by the IEEE 802.11
EDCA depend on the delay each frame suffers. The QoS support can be broken down into
three aspects; throughput, delay and jitter. This work deals with delay and throughput
analysis. Jitter, which is the variation in successive delays, is left as an open area.
The delay is the aggregate of the actual transmission and the time spent waiting in
queue while the preceding packets are served. After a frame arrives at the head of queue,
the binary exponential back-off process is initiated if the medium is sensed busy. This
causes an additional time waiting at the head of queue in addition to the actual transmission time. In this section, a thorough analytical model is presented for modeling the
expected delay for each access category. The model includes the effect of all differentiation
parameters; minimum and maximum contention window sizes, AIFS, and the transmission
opportunity.

4.1

Analytical Framework for EDCA: M/G/1 Queues

The service time for all access categories is difficult to characterize, since it is a function
of the number of active stations of each AC, the individual data rates, the channel condition etc. The best fit for this situation is a general distribution. Coming to the arrival
process, voice traffic is CBR, which is deterministic. Video traffic is variable in nature,
and is dependent on the codec used. While it is not exactly a Poisson process, surveys
[20, 25] show that this is a reasonable approximation; in most cases the variability within
the traffic arrival will conform to that of a Poisson process. In addition, the Markovian
approximation offers high computational tractability, thus it has remained a well used
analysis tool. Since the system is time shared, the server is inherently 1. Thus the most
appropriate queuing discipline is the M/G/1 for the EDCA.
The basis for the analytical framework is established by viewing each access category
(VO, VI, BE and BK) as an independent single dimensional queue. Each queue is a lim18

CHAPTER 4. ANALYTICAL MODEL FOR DELAY AND THROUGHPUT

19

ited service, partially gated system with vacation/reservation. This implies that after each
packet arrives at the head of queue, the server immediately goes on vacation. This vacation accounts for the randomly selected back-off counter value, other possible collisions
and transmissions within this interval and the collisions that the station it self suffers and
the back-off counter picked from the subsequently doubled contention window.
For any arriving packet, the waiting time in queue is the sum of the residual time
Ri (the time remaining for the currently ongoing transmission/vacation), the service time
of all the preceding packets

Ni
,

and the vacation times for all the preceding packets as

well as its own vacation time Yi . In case of T XOP being enabled, the vacation interval
does not precede each packet transmission, but several consecutive packet transmissions,
as dictated by the T XOPlimit .
From [22, Eq 3.63, Pp 198], the expected waiting time for the ith arriving packet Wi
is given by:
E[Wi ] = E[Ri ] +

E[Ni ]
+ E[Yi ]

(4.1)

As i the system attains steady state. From Littles theorem, N = W and using
=

the above equation can be written as:


E[W ] = E[R] + E[W ] + E[Y ]

(4.2)

A major focus of the delay analysis is on developing an expression for the vacation time
that precedes each transmission. The problem of finding the queuing delay necessitates
using the first two moments of the vacation time. However, the PDF of the vacation time
is not required. This indicates that complex models, as presented in [9], although necessary for accurate analysis of the protocol, are not required for delay analysis in particular.
The main advantage of this approach is that the model remains analytically tractable,
and robust enough to be applied in a dynamic environment, where the retransmission
probability and the channel busyness is constantly changing. This is not possible for most
other analytical models, which start with an assumption of steady state, implying that a
new station may not appear on the station, or an existing station may not stop transmitting. Furthermore, in current models, channel conditions, if taken into account [9], are
held to be constant, which is also inaccurate for the wireless environment.

4.2

Queuing Analysis for EDCA

The parameters such as arrival distribution, service time, vacation etc., will differ for voice
and video ACs. To consider the relation between the two ACs, it is established, based
on contention window and AIFS differentiation, that voice will almost always have higher

20

CHAPTER 4. ANALYTICAL MODEL FOR DELAY AND THROUGHPUT

priority. However, when any packet is being transmitted from say voice AC, the other
queues, whether voice or video, will be undergoing vacation. Similarly, when a video
packet is being transmitted, all other queues, both voice and video, will be undergoing vacation. Thus the transmission interval of one queue will overlap with the vacation interval
of all other queues. Thus the priority is being catered for within the vacationing.
For the mean residual time, consider figure 4.1.

Figure 4.1: Residual Time for Voice and Video Vbo .

We will derive the general expression for queuing delay, which can be used for voice
and video by using the relevant parameters plugged into equations (4.1-4.2).

R=

E[X 2 ] (1 )E[V 2 ]
+
2
2E[V ]

(4.3)

The expected time due to vacation considering a partially gated system, is given by:
Y =

(1 + )E[V ] (1 )

(E[V ])2
2
2E[V ]

(4.4)

Since the system under consideration is a limited service system, the waiting time in
eq (4.2) is extended by a factor E[V ]W since each packet causes a vacation interval.

CHAPTER 4. ANALYTICAL MODEL FOR DELAY AND THROUGHPUT

E[W ] = E[R] + E[W ] + E[Y ] + E[V ]E[W ]


E[W ] =

21

(4.5)

E[R] + E[Y ]
1 E[V ]

Plugging the values of E[V ] and E[R] from eq 4.3 and 4.4 into 4.5, we get the result
for the waiting time:

E[W ] =

1
2(1 E[V ])

E[X ] +

(1 )(E[V 2 ] (E[V ])2 )


E[V ]


+ (1 + )E[V ]
(4.6)

For each AC (VO, VI, BE, BK) the parameters , E[V ], E[V

2]

and

E[X 2 ]

will be differ-

ent; thus the delay for each AC can be individually calculated.


When the TXOP is enabled (primarily for video AC), the average vacation time is
deterministically reduced for each packet. When the TXOP is set to a non zero value,
the AC can transmit multiple packets once it has gained access to the medium. Each
transmission is separated by a SIFS, so no other contending station can gain access to the
medium. The number of packets transmitted nT XOP is determined by the TXOP setting.
In terms of the queuing analysis, this can be explained as follows: instead of a vacation
interval preceding each packet transmission, one vacation interval precedes a fixed number
of packet transmissions (nT XOP ). Thus (4.5) is modified as:
E[W ] = E[R] + E[W ] + E[Y ] +

1
nT XOP

E[V ]E[W ]

(4.7)

and the resultant waiting time is given by:


E[W ] =

1
2(1

1
nT XOP

E[V ])

E[X ] +

(1 )(E[V 2 ] (E[V ])2 )


E[V ]


+ (1 + )E[V ]
(4.8)

The main result of this analysis is given by 4.8. This caters for the transmission opportunity (T XOP ) explicitly, and AIFS and CW differentiation within the vacation interval.
The main results for overall delay each packet suffer is summarized by 4.6 and 4.8. This
model presents a significant difference from most existing models, particularly Markov
chain based frameworks, in that iterative solution is not required.
In the above derived expression for waiting time, the service time and arrival rates are
known; the only unknowns remaining are the first and second moment of vacation time.
The following section deals with these two expressions for dynamic network conditions;
the subsequent section details the work for steady state conditions.

22

CHAPTER 4. ANALYTICAL MODEL FOR DELAY AND THROUGHPUT

4.3

Calculation of E[V ], E[V 2 ]

After each packet arrives at the head of queue, contention for channel access starts, which
continues until the station has gained medium access, and successfully transmits the
packet. In this model, this time constitutes the reservation or vacation interval that precedes each transmission. This includes, in addition to the time spent during the back-off
process, the time spent due to collision and subsequent unsuccessful transmissions. Thus
the vacation time is dependent on the number of transmitting stations, and the probability of re-transmission, which is the combined effect of both channel outage and collision.
The total vacation/reservation interval (V ) preceding transmission of each data frame
can be attributed to two reasons, increasing back-off window following each failed transmission attempt (Vbo ) and other transmissions/collisions occurring within the back-off
period (Vbusy ).
E[V ] = E[Vbusy ] + [Vbo ]

(4.9)

The second moment is given by:


E[V 2 ] = E[(Vbo + Vbusy )2 ]

(4.10)

Determining the exact distribution of V presents a complex problem [9], however, it is


possible to find the first and second moment, which is adequate for queuing analysis.

4.3.1

E[Vbo ]

The IEEE 802.11 MAC layer protocol dictates that the back-off window doubles after each
unsuccessful transmission attempt, starting at the minimum contention window size (Wm ,
which will be the integer value of the contention window times Tslot ), until the maximum
contention window size is reached, or the retry limit (R) is exceeded. The vacation due
to back-off (Vbo ) is the number of idle slots that the station traverses before successful
transmission. Since the number of slots traversed increases in case of failed transmission
attempt, Vbo is a function of the retransmission (collision) probability (p).Since the collision probability p, and the minimum contention window size Wm , are different for VO
and VI ACs, both will have dissimilar vacation due to back-off.
In case the retry limit is reached, and the packet suffers another collision, the packet
is dropped. However, in usual traffic load, this event occurs very rarely, as is validated
by the analytical model presented in [2]. Thus practically, this case can be ignored; this
leads to a simpler analysis. The vacation time due to back-off Vbo is a memoryless process;
the probability of success (or failure) remains the same after each retransmission. In
case where the retry limit is not considered, the first moment (or expectation) of Vbo
can be derived in terms of (p) and the minimum contention window size Wm . In case of
a successful transmission, the expected waiting time is the same as that of the average

CHAPTER 4. ANALYTICAL MODEL FOR DELAY AND THROUGHPUT

23

contention window size. In case of a collision/failed attempt, the expected vacation time
doubles from that of the previous attempt. This can be derived as follows for the generic
case, which can be tailored for both VO and VI (and also for BE and BK):

E[Vbo ] = P (success)E[Vbo |success] + P (collision)E[Vbo |collision]


= (1 p)E[Wm ] + p(E[Wm ] + 2E[Vbo ])
E[Vbo ] =

E[Wm ]
1 2p

(4.11)

The second moment can be similarly derived:

2
E[Vbo2 ] = (1 p)E[Wm
] + pE[(Wm + 2Vbo )2 ]

1
2
E[Wm
] + 4pE[Wm ]E[Vbo ]
=
1 4p

E[Vbo2 ] =

2]
E[Wm
(E[Wm ])2 4p
+
,
1 4p
(1 2p)(1 4p)

4p < 1

(4.12)

The case of retry limit can similarly be considered; the above geometric distribution is
then replaced by a truncated geometric distribution. However, in actual network scenarios,
the probability of the retry limit being reached is negligibly small. Hence analysis without
inclusion of the retry limit is close to the actual results.

4.3.2

E[Vbusy ]

Besides the exponentially increasing back-off window, the factors that contribute to the
vacation interval are the other channel events (N ) that occur during the back-off counter
decrement, i.e. other successful transmissions and collisions, where the stations back-off
counter remains frozen. The total time that the channel is busy due to these events (Tbusy )
is a random variable, dependent on the number of other transmitting flows.
If the packet does not suffer a re-transmission, the vacation Vbusy will consist of the time
that the channel is busy due to transmission from other stations, plus the necessary AIFS
(TM AC ). In case the packet undergoes a retransmission, the vacation will consist of the
AIFS, the time to transmit the packet and establish that a collision has occurred (Tno ack ),
as well as the entire duration (Vbusy ) that will occur due to a retransmission attempt. Just
as in the case of the vacation due to back-off, the process Vbusy is memoryless and lends
well to a closed form result. Following the same principle as adopted for vacationing due
to back-off, E[Vbusy ] depends on the number of transmission attempts, increasing in case
of failed transmission. Defining the probability of these events in terms of p, we have the
first moment of Vbusy given by (4.13):

CHAPTER 4. ANALYTICAL MODEL FOR DELAY AND THROUGHPUT

24

E[Vbusy ] = (1 p)(TM AC + E[Tbusy ]) + p(TM AC + Tno ack + E[Vbusy ])


p
1
= E[Tbusy ] +
(TM AC ) +
Tno ack
1p
1p
E[Vbusy ] = E[Tbusy ] +

1
p
(TM AC ) +
Tno ack
1p
1p

(4.13)

Equation (4.13) is intuitively descriptive of the vacation due to channel events and retransmissions. The wait includes the time that the channel is busy due to other stations
transmissions (Tbusy ), the AIFS initiated for each transmission attempt, which follows a
geometric distribution (events till the successful transmission); and the time to establish
a failed transmission up until the last successful attempt, which also follows a geometric
distribution (events before the successful transmission).
Here the main parameter to be determined is E[Tbusy ]. Under stable conditions, i.e.
when the delays are bounded, both the first and second moment exist for Tbusy . Just
like the retransmission probability (p), these two parameters from the perspective of any
station, can be maintained and updated at runtime.
Assuming that the first and second moment of Tbusy exist, and are know, using (4.9)
and the subsequent results derived in (4.13), the first moment of the vacation time (when
retry limit is not considered) is given as:
E[V ] =

E[Wm ]
1
p
+ E[Tbusy ] +
TM AC +
Tno ack
1 2p
1p
1p

(4.14)

For the second moment, the same result can be derived by putting in the requisite
values in (4.10).

E[V 2 ] =


1
2
2
(1 + p)(TM
AC + pTno ack ) + 2pTM AC Tno ack
2
(1 p)


2]
E[Wm
2E[Wm ]
1
(E[Wm ])2 4p
+
(TM AC + pTno ack ) +
+
1 2p
1p
1 4p
(1 2p)(1 4p)


1
E[Wm ]
2
+ E[Tbusy ] + 2E[Tbusy ]
(TM AC + pTno ack ) +
1p
1 2p

(4.15)

Equations (4.14-4.15) completely describe the vacation interval for the purpose of queuing analysis.

4.4

Special Cases: Light Traffic Load

We can use (4.14 4.10) to study several special cases, i.e. the expected vacation time
when the retransmission probabilities are small. This occurs when there are few transmit-

25

CHAPTER 4. ANALYTICAL MODEL FOR DELAY AND THROUGHPUT


ting stations, or when the traffic load is light.

When there are very few contending stations, the retransmissions are caused by channel
conditions, rather than collisions. In this case it can be assumed that 1 p 1, and the
above equations simplify as:
E[V ] = E[Tbusy ] + TM AC + pTno ack + E[Wm ]

(4.16)

2
2
E[V 2 ] = TM
AC + pTno ack + 2pTM AC Tno ack + 2E[Wm ](TM AC + pTno ack )
2
2
+ E[Wm
] + (E[Wm ])2 4p + 2E[Tbusy ](TM AC + pTno ack + E[Wm ]) + E[Tbusy
]

(4.17)
When there is a moderate number of contending flows, the retransmissions occur both
due to channel outage and collision. However, if p remains small, such that p2 0, then
the expressions for first moment remains the same as (4.14), however the second moment
simplifies as:

E[V 2 ] =

2E[Tbusy ]E[Wm ]
1
2
(p(TM AC + Tno ack )2 + TM
AC ) +
1 2p
1 2p
2
2E[Wm ]
E[Wm ] (E[Wm ])2 4p
+
(TM AC + pTno ack ) +
+
1 3p
1 4p
1 6p
2E[Tbusy ]
2
+
]
(TM AC + pTno ack ) + E[Tbusy
1p

(4.18)

In the case when the retransmission probability is very small, and it can be assumed
to be zero, we arrive at very simplified expression for both the first and second moment:
E[V ] = E[Tbusy ] + TM AC + E[Wm ]

(4.19)

2
2
E[V 2 ] = TM
AC + 2E[Wm ]TM AC + E[Wm ]

(4.20)

2
+ 2E[Tbusy ](TM AC + E[Wm ]) + E[Tbusy
]

In case where the number of active stations is very small, E[Tbusy ] approaches zero.
In this case, when the packet arrives at the head of queue, and the medium is sensed free
for an AIFS, the packet will be transmitted without back-off. Thus E[V ] = TM AC ; this
case will occur with very small probability, and is catered for within this model, since
E[Wm ] caters for the case where the randomly picked back-off counter is zero. The above
expressions are generic, and will differ for VO and VI, and can be found by plugging in
the requisite values of pV O and pV I .
Here the vacation time has been defined as the total time that a packet waits at the

CHAPTER 4. ANALYTICAL MODEL FOR DELAY AND THROUGHPUT

26

head of queue until initiation of successful transmission. The conventional approach has
been to estimate the collision probability (or its average) based on complex analytical
models. Here it has been proposed that the retransmission probability can be estimated
and updated at runtime, which can then be used to periodically update the delay results
for decisions to allow or reject new flows. Another factor that effects the transmission
time is number of other stations transmitting during the back-off interval. Again, from
the perspective of multi-dimensional models, this represents a complex expression based
on the per station transmission probabilities and the number of contending higher and
lower priority flows. However, just as in the case of retransmission probability, this time
too, can be estimated at runtime.

4.5

Steady State

The above model has been derived for actual, dynamic conditions where the IEEE 802.11
is employed. For the sake of completeness, the analysis is extended to steady state and
saturation conditions. Here steady state refers to a stationary process; saturation implies
that each queue will always have a packet to transmit.
In case the assumption of steady state is made, i.e. the number of active stations
remains constant, we can derive a purely analytical expression in terms of expected transmission and the retransmission probability p. These parameters can be calculated from
the rigorous analytical model for EDCA developed by Bianchi [2].

4.5.1

E[Vbusy ]

In this case, the expression for Vbusy will be developed in terms of a random number
of random events. The factors that contribute to the vacation interval are the other
channel events (N ) that occur during the back-off counter decrement, i.e. other successful
transmissions and collisions. Again, defining the probability of these events in terms of
the retransmission probability, we have the first moment given by (4.21):

E[Vbusy ] = (1 p)(TM AC + E[N ]E[Tbusy ]) + p(TM AC + Tno ack + E[Vbusy ])


p
1
= E[N ]E[Tbusy ] +
(TM AC ) +
Tno ack
1p
1p
E[Vbusy ] = E[N ]E[Tbusy ] +

1
p
(TM AC ) +
Tno ack
1p
1p

(4.21)

Here the main parameter to be determined is N . One possible way of solving this
problem is to determine E[Nb ], the number of expected events during the minimum backoff window. Using Nb and borrowing from eq 4.11-4.12 above, E[N ] and E[N 2 ] can then
be derived as:
E[N ] =

E[Nb ]
1 2p

(4.22)

27

CHAPTER 4. ANALYTICAL MODEL FOR DELAY AND THROUGHPUT


The second moment can be similarly derived:
E[N 2 ] =

E[Nb2 ]
(E[Nb ])2 4p
+
,
1 4p (1 2p)(1 4p)

4p < 1

(4.23)

This analysis is valid for steady state, since the number of events tend to increase as
the number of retransmission attempts increase, as all contending stations remain similarly active at all times.
Thus the number of other channel events is a random sum of random variables. From
[26, Eq 7.48, Pp 255], the second moment of this sum is given as:
E[(N Tbusy )2 ] = (E[Tbusy ])2 E[N 2 ] + T2busy E[N ]

(4.24)

Using 4.9 and the subsequent results derived, the first moment of the vacation time
(when retry limit is not considered) is given as:
E[V ] =

E[Wm ]
E[Nb ]
p
1
+
E[Tbusy ] +
TM AC +
Tno ack
1 2p
1 2p
1p
1p

(4.25)

The second moment is given by:


2
] + 2E[Vbo ]E[Vbusy ]
E[V 2 ] = E[Vbo2 ] + E[Vbusy

(4.26)

2]
E[Wm
(E[Wm ])2 4p
+
)
1 4p
(1 2p)(1 4p)
E[N ]E[Tbusy ]
E[Wm ] 1
p
+2
(
TM AC +
+
Tno ack )
1 2p 1 p
(1 2p)
1p
2
p + p2 2
(E[Nb ])2 4p
1+p 2
2 E[Nb ]
+
T
+
(E[T
])
(
+
)
+ 2 TM
busy
AC
p
(1 p)2 no ack
1 4p (1 2p)(1 4p)
E[Nb ]E[Tbusy ]TM AC
E[Nb ]
p
+ T2busy
+2
+2
TM AC Tno ack
1 2p
(1 p)(1 2p)
(1 p)
p
E[Nb ]
+2
E[Tbusy ]Tno ack
2
(1 p) (1 2p)

E[V 2 ] = (

E[V 2 ] =

(E[Tbusy ])2
1
(E[Wm ])2 4p
(E[Nb ])2 4p
2
(E[Wm
]+
)+
(E[Nb2 ] +
)
(4.27)
1 4p
1 2p
1 4p
1 2p
E[Nb ]
1
2
2
+
((1 + p)(TM
+ T2busy
AC + pTno ack ) + 2pTM AC Tno ack )
1 2p (1 p)2
2E[Wm ] E[Nb ]
1
+
(
E[Tbusy ] +
(TM AC + pTno ack ))
1 2p 1 2p
1p
2E[Nb ]E[Tbusy ]
+
(TM AC + pTno ack )
(1 2p)(1 p)

In case p is very small, such that p2 0, the above equation (4.15) simplifies as:

CHAPTER 4. ANALYTICAL MODEL FOR DELAY AND THROUGHPUT

E[V 2 ] =

28

(E[Tbusy ])2
(E[Wm ])2 4p
(E[Nb ])2 4p
)+
(E[Nb2 ] +
)
1 4p
1 2p
1 4p
1 2p
E[Nb ]
1
2
+ T2busy
+
(p(TM AC + Tno ack )2 + TM
AC )
1 2p (1 2p)
2E[Wm ] E[Nb ]
1
+
(
E[Tbusy ] +
(TM AC + pTno ack ))
1 2p 1 2p
1p
2E[Nb ]E[Tbusy ]
+
(TM AC + pTno ack )
(1 2p)(1 p)
2

2
(E[Wm
]+

First and second moments for voice and video ACs will differ, and are defined from
the above equations (4.14-4.15) by using NbV O , pV O , WmV O , NbV O and NbV I , pV I , WmV I ,
NbV I .

4.6

Throughput

Since the model has been designed to compute the expected delay, it is redundant to go
through the same methodology to find the system throughput. It is an easier approach to
find the expected value of throughput from Littles Theorem. If we denote the per station
throughput by T h, per station delay by D, packet size by Psize , the average throughput
as a function of delay is given by:
Th =

1
Psize
D

(4.28)

This equation can be used to find the throughput once the delay has been calculated.
Thus the complete performance characterization can be obtained from the queuing framework.

Chapter 5

Simulation and Results


For verification of the developed model, simulation was done on the network simulator 3
(NS-3) [27].
The simulation includes voice, video, and background traffic. The details of the traffic
sources and corresponding parameters have been selected taking into account the actual
deployment scenarios.

5.1

Simulation Setup

The IEEE 802.11g standard has been chosen for the simulation, since it is the currently
employed PHY standard. The parameters for MAC specifications [1, table 17-15] are listed
in table 5.1. The corresponding EDCA parameters are given in table 5.2 [1, table 7-37].
Table 5.1: MAC Parameters
Slot Time
SIFS
DIFS
Data Rate
Tno ack
Max MPDU
CWmin
CWmax

9 s
16 s
34 s
54Mbps
46s
4095 bytes
15
1023

One access point was simulated, serving as a sink for the traffic generated by stations.
Each station transmits all three traffic streams. The number of transmitting stations increase at regular intervals, going from one up to 40 stations (3-120 flows). Each increment
follows after a fixed interval, giving enough time to study the network.
Each station computes the time the channel remains busy due to transmissions from
other stations between two successive successful transmissions of its own. The collision/retransmission probability for each AC is also maintained and updated every 10ms.
29

30

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS


Table 5.2: EDCA Parameters

AC (Priority)
AIFSN
CW min
CW max
TM AC
M SDU life

Voice
3
2
3
7
34s
300ms

Video
2
2
7
15
34s
500ms

Table 5.3: Traffic Specification

Data Rate (Kbps)


Frame Size (Bytes)
Traffic Nature

Voice
104
160
CBR

Video
384
220 (average)
VBR

Background
200
128
CBR

The nature of the voice, video and background traffic has been chosen to reflect actual
real time data over the Internet. Voice and background data have been simulated as CBR,
while video data has been simulated as VBR. The details are shown in table 5.3 [25].

5.2

Computational Efficiency

The results obtained from the simulation have been tabulated in the following sections.
Within the simulation, the results for the error probability and busy time have been
continuously updated. The analytical results have also been applied for every changing
network condition. A point of interest is the efficiency of the analytical system. Since the
calculations do not involve fixed point iterations, the system is far more tractable than
multi-dimensional Markov chain models. As an example, using an Intel core i7rprocessor,
if the data for a simulation with a fixed setup is analyzed for delay and throughput, the
total computational time for one set of results is 0.023 seconds.
The only hurdle that might appear is the constant collection of statistics at the terminals. However, this is not an issue since the data collection is limited to each node itself;
there needs to be no centralized data and delay analysis. For facilitation of admission
control algorithms, the delay results per AC can be communicated to the AP only when
the system parameters, e.g. retransmission probability, change beyond a certain threshold.

5.3

Results for Voice Access Category

First the voice access category is considered. The results, for the simulation and the
analytical model, have been presented in the form of graphs.

31

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS

5.3.1

Busy Time Tbusy

For a changing network scenario, the busy time has been measured between each successive
packet transmission. From this data, the first and second moment of the busy time have
been tabulated.
E[Tbusy ]
The following plot (figure 5.1) shows the values for expected busy time, E[Tbusy ] plotted
against increasing number of stations.
x 10

x 10

3.5
5
3
4
2.5
2

ms

ms

1.5
2
1
1
0.5
0

0
1

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

Figure 5.1: First Moment of Busy Time for VO AC: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

The above figures indicate that the busy time increases with the number of transmitting
stations; beyond a certain point the busy time undergoes significant increment. Also, from
figure 5.1 it is evident that the busy time shows considerable variation when not averaged.
This can be attributed to the dynamic nature of the network, as well as the fact on of
the traffic sources in the network, i.e. video, is VBR. Thus the number of active stations
within any time span vary.
2
E[Tbusy
]

Figure 5.2 shows the second moment of busy time, E[Tbusy ] plotted against increasing
number of stations, as obtained from the contending VO ACs.
4

4

x 10

x 10

2.5

3.5

3
2

Seconds2

Seconds2

2.5

1.5

1.5

1
0.5
0.5
0

0
1

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

Figure 5.2: Second Moment of Busy Time for VO AC: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

32

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS

The second moment of busy time shows variation similar to that of the first moment.
It is notable that the values of the second moment of busy time is comparatively small in
the context of QoS provisioning. Another fact that becomes apparent is that the second
moment shows a decrease in the heavy load scenario. This can be attributed to the
fact that as the traffic increases beyond a certain point, the busy time starts remaining
uniformly large, thus the variation decrease, and correspondingly the second moment.

5.3.2

Retransmission Probability

0.12

0.012

0.1

0.01

0.08

0.008
Probability

Probability

Figure 5.3 shows the retransmission/collision probability against the number of stations.

0.06

0.006

0.04

0.004

0.02

0.002

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

Figure 5.3: Retransmission Probability for VO AC: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

The figures indicate that the retransmission probability shows significant variation,
particularly when new stations start transmitting. It can be observed that in the instantaneous case, the error probability goes up to 0.5. However, from figure 5.3, it can be seen
that the average retransmission probability never grows out of bound, i.e. the average does
not cross 0.05. There is no distinct trend that increasing transmitting flows necessarily
means increasing retransmission probability. This can be explained due to initiation of
back-off process:
When new flows are suddenly added to the system, collisions momentarily shoot up;
Following this, post collision back-off counters are doubled, enabling the system to
settle down into steady state whereby the collision probability goes down.
An important conclusion that can be drawn is that the collision/retransmission probability does not solely indicate the delays that will occur in transmission.

33

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS

5.3.3

Vacation Time V

Based on the collected data for busy time and the error probability, the first and second
moment of vacation time has been calculated.
E[V ]
Figure 5.4 and ?? shows the first moment of vacation time, as computed by equation
2 ] from the above data set.
(4.14), using the values of p, E[Tbusy ] and E[Tbusy

3.5
5
3
4
2.5
2

ms

ms

1.5
2
1
1
0.5
0

0
1

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

Figure 5.4: First Moment of Vacation Time: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

E[V 2 ]
The second moment (4.15) is shown in figure 5.5 (instantaneous) and ?? (averaged).
4

4

x 10

x 10
6

2
Seconds2

Seconds2

0
1

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

Figure 5.5: Second Moment of Vacation Time: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

Comparing the two sets of figures (5.1-5.2) and (5.4-5.5), we see that the first and
second moments of vacation time closely follow the first and second moment of busy time.
This can be explained by the fact that , as long as p remains within bound, the major
contributors in 4.14 and 4.15 are the first and second moments of Tbusy respectively.

5.3.4

Delay Results

Using the results presented above in equation (4.6), the analytical results for delay have
been calculated and compared to the simulation results, shown in figure 5.6 (instantaneous)

34

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS


and ??(averaged).
0.03

0.045

E[W] Simulation

Delay Results: Simulation


Delay Results: Analytical

0.04

E[W] Analytical

0.025

0.035
0.02
seconds

Seconds

0.03
0.025
0.02

0.015

0.01

0.015
0.01

0.005
0.005
0

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

Figure 5.6: Delay Results: Analytical Vs Simulation: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

It can be seen that at high traffic loads, the results show close agreement with the
simulation results. The apparent discrepancy at lower loads can be explained by the fact
that the analytical model assumes that the contention window keeps on doubling every
failed transmission attempt, In actual fact, the window for VO AC doubles just once. At
larger delays, this issue no longer remains as significant in the presence of delays caused
by busy time. In the context of actual delay requirements for voice, the over prediction is
not significant, since it runs in the order of few milliseconds.

5.3.5

Throughput Results

Using Littles Theorem, the delay results have been used to tabulate throughput results.
The comparison is shown in fig 5.7.
4

11

x 10

Simulation
Analytical
10

bits/sec

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

Figure 5.7: Throughput Results VO AC

It can be seen that the results under predict the per station throughput at lower loads,
since the delay is slightly over predicted. At higher loads, the results show close agreement
with the simulation.
Presented results indicate that the delay results depend largely on the vacation times,
which in turn are function of the busy time and the error probability. However, it can be

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS

35

seen that even under heavy traffic loads, the error probability remains within bounds.
An interesting feature that comes to light is that since the vacation time follows the
busy time (both first and second moment), and the probability of error always remains
within a small bound, the approximate delay results (equation 4.26, ??) are very close
to the actual analytical results. This offers an even more tractable solution to the delay
model.

36

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS

5.3.6

Effect of Retransmission Probability: Throughput

It is of particular interest to note how the system throughput for one particular access
category suffers as the average transmission probability goes up. This data has been taken
from the simulation alone. Figure (5.8) depicts the effect of the retransmission probability
on the decrease in system throughput that is primarily brought on by addition in the
expected values of the busy time. It becomes evident that as the probability goes beyond
0.2, the system throughput falls bellow the required average. Within the actual simulation,
these instances occur very rarely.

System Throughput Voice (Mbps)

7
System Throughput
Acceptable Throughput

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2
0.25
0.3
Retransmission Probability

0.35

0.4

0.45

0.5

Figure 5.8: Effect of Retransmission Probability on System Throughput

5.3.7

Jitter: Simulation Results

The following figure (5.9) shows the simulation jitter results for voice access category.
4

4

x 10

1.2

x 10

2
Jitter (Second2)

Jitter (Second2)

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

Figure 5.9: Jitter Results: Simulation: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

Just as in the case of delay, we see a steady increase in jitter with increasing the number
of stations. However, even under heavy loads, the jitter remains within acceptable limits.

37

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS

5.4

Results for Video Access Category

The results for the video AC show a close similarity to those of voice AC. These results
have been tabulated and presented bellow.

5.4.1

Busy Time Tbusy

E[Tbusy ]
The following plot (figure 5.10) shows the values for expected busy time, E[Tbusy ] plotted
against increasing number of stations.
3

x 10
0.014

0.012

2.5

0.01

Seconds

Seconds

2
0.008

0.006

1.5

1
0.004
0.5

0.002

0
1

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

Figure 5.10: First Moment of Busy Time for VI AC: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

The above figures indicate that the busy time increases with the number of transmitting
stations. Again, as in the case of voice, it is evident from figure 5.10 that the busy time
shows considerable variation.
2
E[Tbusy
]

Figure 5.11 shows the second moment of busy time, E[Tbusy ] plotted against increasing
number of stations, as obtained from the contending VI ACs.
4

3

x 10

x 10
1.8
1.6
1.4

2
Seconds2

Seconds2

1.2
1
0.8

0.6
0.4
0.2

0
1

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

10

15
20
25
Number of Station

30

35

40

Figure 5.11: Second Moment of Busy Time for VI AC: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

The second moment of busy time shows variation similar to that of the first moment.
The values of second moment of busy time are small in the context of acceptable delays.

38

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS

5.4.2

Retransmission Probability

Figure 5.12 shows the retransmission/collision probability against the number of stations.
0.04

0.016

0.035

0.014

0.03

0.012
0.01
Probability

Probability

0.025
0.02

0.008

0.015

0.006

0.01

0.004

0.005

0.002

0
1

10

15
20
25
Number of Station

30

35

40

10

15
20
25
Number of Station

30

35

40

Figure 5.12: Retransmission Probability for VI AC: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

As in the case of voice, the figures indicate that the retransmission probability shows
significant variation. From figure 5.12, it can be seen that the average retransmission
probability never grows out of bound, i.e. the average does not cross 0.1. This bound that
the error probability remains within can be attributed to the initiation of the back-off
process. The retransmission probability is not the sole metric of interest in predicting
delays and throughput.

39

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS

5.4.3

Vacation Time V

E[V ]
Figure 5.13 shows the first moment of vacation time, as computed by equation (4.14),
2 ]. The first figure shows instantaneous values,
using the values of p, E[Tbusy ] and E[Tbusy

while the second figure shows averaged values.


3

3

x 10

3.5

2.2

x 10

1.8
1.6

Seconds

Seconds

2.5

1.5

1.4
1.2
1
0.8

0.6
0.5
0.4
0

10

15
20
25
Number of Station

30

35

0.2

40

10

15
20
25
N
) umber of Station

30

35

40

Figure 5.13: First Moment of Vacation Time: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

E[V 2 ]
The second moment (4.15) is shown in figure 5.14.

4

4

x 10

x 10
6

1.8
5

1.6
1.4
Seconds2

Seconds2

1.2
1
0.8
0.6
0.4

1
0.2
0

0
1

10

15
20
25
Number of Station

30

35

40

10

15
20
25
Number of Station

30

35

40

Figure 5.14: Second Moment of Vacation Time: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

Comparing the two sets of figures (5.10-5.11) and (5.13-5.14), the first and second
moments of vacation time closely follow the first and second moment of busy time. As
long as p remains within bound, the major contributors in 4.14 and 4.15 are the first and
second moments of Tbusy respectively.

5.4.4

Delay Results

Using the results presented above in equation (4.6), the analytical results for delay have
been calculated and compared to the simulation results, shown in figure 5.15.

40

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS


0.06

0.03
E[W] Simulation
E[W] Analytical

0.05

E[W] Simulation
E[W] Analytical
0.025

0.02
seconds

Seconds

0.04

0.03

0.015

0.02

0.01

0.01

0.005

10

15
20
25
Number of Station

30

35

40

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

Figure 5.15: Delay Results: Analytical Vs Simulation: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

AS was the case in voice, the results show closer agreement at higher loads then at
less traffic. In the case of video, however, the divergence is less. This further supports the
theory regarding the discrepancy. In case of video, the contention window size doubles
only once, however, the largest contention window size for video is double that of voice,
lending for a better approximation.

5.4.5

Throughput Results

Per station throughput has been calculated from the delay using 4.28. The results are
shown in fig 5.16.
5

x 10

Simulation
Analytical
3.5

bits/sec

2.5

1.5

0.5
1

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

Figure 5.16: Throughput Results for VI AC

The results are indicative of the same trends as that for voice AC; the busy time
steadily increases at higher traffic loads, as does the average error probability. The later
remains within bound of 0.02. The delay results closely follow the simulation at higher
traffic loads.

41

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS

5.4.6

Effect of Retransmission Probability: Throughput

The following figure (5.17) depicts the effect of increasing retransmission probability on
system throughput for video access category. In this case, we see that the system throughput falls bellow the acceptable minimum at lower error probability than the video AC.
This can be attributed to the greater throughput requirements for video.
11
Minimum Acceptable Throughput
System Throughput

System Throughput Video (Mbps)

10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2

0.1

0.2

0.3
0.4
Retransmission Probability

0.5

0.6

Figure 5.17: Effect of Retransmission Probability on System Throughput

5.4.7

Jitter: Simulation Results

The following figure (5.18) shows the simulation jitter results for voice access category.
4

4

x 10

x 10
1.6

1.4

Jitter (Second2)

Jitter (Second2)

1.2

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

Figure 5.18: Jitter Results: Simulation: a)10ms intervals, b)20s intervals

Just as in the case of delay, we see a steady increase in jitter with increasing the number
of stations. However, even under heavy loads, the jitter remains within acceptable limits.

42

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS

5.5

Comparison with Existing Work

For the sake of a complete picture in terms of delay prediction, it is meaningful to compare
the presented model with existing analytical models for delay prediction. For this purpose,
the work presented by Tadayon et. al [9], hereon referred to as Tadayons Model. This work
specifically deals with delay analysis. Since it is for DCF, a new simulation was conducted
in which only one type of traffic was generated; The parameters were set to that of best
effort traffic. A relatively light load was generated, with a total of 20 transmitting stations.
The delay results obtained from the simulation as well as both models were plotted against
probability of retransmission. The results are shown in figure 6.3.
0.01
Tadayons Model
Presented Model
Simulation Results

0.009
0.008
0.007
seconds

0.006
0.005
0.004
0.003
0.002
0.001
0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2
0.25
0.3
Retransmission Probability

0.35

0.4

0.45

0.5

Figure 5.19: Comparison with Tadayons Model

AN inspection shows the results presented both by [9] and the existing work substantiated. The current work offers greater accuracy in terms of delay prediction for higher
loads, or when the retransmission probability is higher. Tadayons work shows high accuracy in cases of lower load, or when the collision probability is lower. The practice of
categorizing the overall system load in terms of retransmission probability has been adhered to in this analysis for the sake of consistency with the work compared with. From
the perspective of delay analysis in its entirety, both analytical frameworks offer distinct
advantages. However, in the case of heavy loads, the presented work has a clear edge.
This scenario is of the most significance for the purpose of admission control and network
planning.

43

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS

5.6

Impact of Retransmission Probability

Given the analytical modeling, the impact of error or retransmission probability poses limitations on system performance for delay, throughput and jitter if it grows beyond certain
bounds.
To analyze this phenomena, a simulation was conducted with very high traffic load (60
Mbps over a 54Mbps channel) with high path loss. The resulting system performance for
voice and video access category is summarized in the following graphs.

5.6.1

System Throughput

Figures 5.20 5.21 illustrate the impact of increasing error probability on overall system
through put for voice and video ACs respectively. The results show that there is a sharp
drop in throughput once the error probability crosses 0.25. This corroborates the results
derived for the analytical framework.
6

5.5

x 10

System Throughput (bps)

4.5
4
3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0

0.1

0.2

0.3
0.4
Retransmission Probability

0.5

0.6

0.7

Figure 5.20: Effect of Retransmission Probability on System Throughput VO AC

5.6.2

Per Station Delay and Jitter

Per station delay as a function of increasing error probability is analyzed for voice and video
ACs respectively. Here the impact of error probability increasing beyond 0.25 becomes
more pronounced. A comparison of both per station delay and jitter is shown in 5.22 and
5.23. In the case of voice AC, the jitter starts increasing rapidly once the retransmission
probability increases beyond 0.05. This effect is also present in VI AC, although it is
less marked. The reason for this may be attributed to the larger packet size for video at
the same data rate as voice; thus the number of transmissions tend to be more evenly
distributed.

44

CHAPTER 5. SIMULATION AND RESULTS


6

x 10

5.5
5

System Throughput (bps)

4.5
4
3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2
0.25
0.3
Retransmission Probability

0.35

0.4

0.45

0.5

Figure 5.21: Effect of Retransmission Probability on System Throughput VI AC

0.12
Per Station Delay
Jitter

0.1

Seconds

0.08

0.06

0.04

0.02

0.1

0.2

0.3
0.4
Retransmission Probability

0.5

0.6

Figure 5.22: Effect of Retransmission Probability on Delay and Jitter VO AC

Per Station Delay


Jitter

0.05
0.045
0.04

Second

0.035
0.03
0.025
0.02
0.015
0.01
0.005
0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2
0.25
0.3
Retransmission Probability

0.35

0.4

0.45

0.5

Figure 5.23: Effect of Retransmission Probability on Delay and Jitter VI AC

Chapter 6

Discussion and Conclusion


Based on the results presented in the preceding section, several interesting conclusions can
be drawn about delay analysis of IEEE 802.11 EDCA.
It is possible to arrive, theoretically and practically, at high accuracy analysis with
very less computational cost as compared to multidimensional Markov chain models or
complex probability generating functions. A considerable impact being that iterative
solution/calculation are not required. Considering the fact that the purpose of delay
analysis is primarily:
Call admission control: effective utilization of network resources while providing
acceptable quality of service, or
study of the effect of contention and channel access parameters on system performance.
Given both these scenarios, live monitoring of network statistic, such as the time that
the channel is observed busy between two successive successful transmissions or the error
probability, is highly achievable. This approach offers two major advantages over existing
models:
The computation element becomes considerably easier, and
The analytical model no longer depends primarily on the error probability; this
makes the model more accurate, particularly at higher collision probabilities.
These points are borne out by the agreement between analytical and simulation results,
as well as the computational speed of the algorithm and removal of fixed point iteration
and inversion of probability generating functions.
From the results presented in section 4, we see that the first and second moments of
the vacation time are function of the retransmission probability (p) and the expected time
that channel remains busy due to the transmission of other stations.
From the results, two important approximations have been drawn about scenarios with
very light traffic load and heavy traffic load:
45

46

CHAPTER 6. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

Under light load 1p 1, E[V ] is dominated by E[Vbusy ], and a good approximation


to the vacation is given by:
E[V ] E[Vbusy ]
Under heavy load p 1, E[V ] is dominated by E[Vbo ], and a good approximation
to the vacation is given by:
E[V ] E[Vbo ]
An important consideration is the fact that in current IEEE 802.11 implementations,
the parameters such as Tno ack , TM AC are very short (in the order of seconds), thus in
terms of delay analysis for the purpose of QoS support, these parameters, or multiples
thereof, do not pose a significant contribution to the overall delay. Thus, as long as (p)
remains within bound, the terms associated with (p) in equations(4.14, 4.15, 4.25, 4.27)
remain very small in comparison to the time attributed to the delay by the terms containing
2 ]. From the results for first and second moment of the busy time and
E[Tbusy ] and E[Tbusy

vacation time (figure (6.1)) this becomes apparent. This is particularly applicable for the
current PHY standards of the IEEE 802.11, e.g. g and n. Thus effectively we can model
the vacation time with the busy time.
E[V ] E[Tbusy ]

(6.1)

2
]
E[V 2 ] E[Tbusy

(6.2)

This makes a considerable impact on the calculation efficiency, further bringing down
the computation expense by a sizable margin.

3

Delay Results

x 10

E[V]
E[V2]
E[Tbusy]
E[Tbusy2]

Delay per Station (seconds)

8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0

10

15
20
25
Number of Stations

30

35

40

Figure 6.1: Comparison of Busy Time and Vacation Time for VO AC

An interesting effect observed was the behavior of busy time under heavy traffic loads.
Two points came to light, the first being that the increase in busy time slows down with
increasing contending stations; this can be explained by the doubling in contention window

47

CHAPTER 6. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

sizes with every collisions. Most stations are under going back-off instead of transmitting.
The second is that the variability decreases; delays due to other transmissions become
uniformly large.

x 10

E[Tbusy]
4.5
4

Seconds

3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0

10

15

20

25
30
35
Number of Stations

40

45

50

55

60

55

60

Figure 6.2: E[Tbusy ] under heavy loads

2.5

x 10

E[Tbusy]

Seconds

1.5

0.5

10

15

20

25
30
35
Number of Stations

40

45

50

2
Figure 6.3: E[Tbusy
] under heavy loads

Although transmission probability alone cannot be held as a determining factor for


either delay or throughput, it does have an impact on the overall system performance. A
very important result is the impact of error probability on the system performance if it
grows beyond bound. If the error probability goes beyond 0.25, the throughput will drop
to an extent that it makes the system unusable. While this bound is the upper limit on
acceptable delay and throughput, another result that can be drawn is regarding jitter.
Since jitter is the second moment of delay, the analytical model derived above indicates
that a finite jitter requires the error probability to be bounded, in the steady state, by
0.0625.
This limit, in view of existing works, seems very small. However, simulation of the
IEEE 802.11 with up to 120 transmitting streams indicates that even under heavy traffic
loads, the error probability in the steady state will never go beyond these limits. In the in-

48

CHAPTER 6. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

stantaneous events that this bound is exceeded, the simulations show that the throughput
drops drastically to an unacceptable limit. In case this bound is exceeded, real time communication will no longer be possible due to unacceptable delay and jitter performance,
as illustrated in figure 6.4.
0.12
Per Station Delay
Jitter

0.1

Seconds

0.08

0.06

0.04

0.02

0.1

0.2

0.3
0.4
Retransmission Probability

0.5

0.6

Figure 6.4: Effect of Retransmission Probability on Delay and Jitter VO AC

6.1

Comparison with Existing Models

Referring back to table 3.1, the developed model can be compared to the existing works.
In comparison with [2], the proposed work offers a far more tractable solution, with an
extension to throughput results. There is a many fold enhancement in computational
efficiency; the model in [2] requires fixed point iteration for convergence to a solution for
a fixed network scenario, if the scenario changes by even a single transmitting station, the
entire set of calculations have to be repeated again. The presented model adapts to the
changing environment far more quickly since there are no iterative calculations involved.
The model presented by Bianchi et. al, although accurate as compared to other Markov
chain models, does not cater for transmission opportunity parameter; this issue has also
been dealt with in the current work. In addition, one of the most limiting conditions,
that of stationary process, is no longer required. This allows for a model that adapts to
changing conditions and traffic loads without having to reformulate the problem.
Coming over to the delay results presented in [9], we see that, again, the presented
model is far more analytically tractable. Although important from a purely theoretical
perspective, the probability density function of the service time is not of extreme importance when analyzing from the perspective of system performance. Just the first two
moments of service time are required, or in this case referred to as the vacation time.
However, a factor more significant than the complexity is the accuracy. The framework
presented by Tadayon et. al under predicts the delay under heavy traffic loads. This can
cause unacceptable delays when applied for admission control. In contrast, the presented

CHAPTER 6. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

49

work offers far greater match with simulation results at higher traffic loads. In addition,
since the model was developed for DCF, it does not cater for transmission opportunity,
which is factored in within this work. A point to note is the range of error probabilities over which the analytical model in [9] seems to predict acceptable performance; this
seems to be an overly optimistic result, since the analytical model developed in this work
indicates that the delay/throughput performance becomes unacceptable when the error
probability goes beyond 0.25, while jitter has a far smaller tolerance, i.e. 0.0625.
Coming over to the queuing model presented in [10], there are two areas that make for
meaningful comparison. The first is the development of the service time distribution; the
basis is a Markov chain, which assumes a stationary process. This again necessitates a set
of fixed point iteration based calculation for every new network scenario. This severely
impairs computational efficiency when it comes to predicting performance metrics in real
time systems, as opposed to the proposed model. The second aspect is that of accuracy;
the results presented in [10] substantially over predict the delay at higher traffic loads. The
presented model offers a far greater agreement between simulation and analytical results
at higher traffic loads. A comparison with existing work (table 3.1) is provided in table 6.1.

Table 6.1: Comparison of Presented Work with Existing Models

Bianchis
Model
for
EDCA Throughput [2]

Tadayons Model for DCF


Service Delay [9]

Chens Model for EDCA


Queuing Delay [10]

Presented Work

Problem Addressed

Analytical model for saturation throughput of EDCA

Service delay distribution for


DCF

Queuing analysis for EDCA

Assumptions

Saturation conditions; Independent station behavior;


Perfect channel; No virtual
collisions; TXOP disabled

Saturation conditions; Imperfect channel; Constant collision probability

Both saturation and nonsaturation conditions; Perfect


channel; Constant collision
probability; Infinite buffer
size; TXOP disabled; No virtual collisions

Results

Analytical throughput results


agree with simulation results,
solution based on fixed point
iteration

Analytical model significantly


under-predicts first and second moment of service delay
under heavy traffic, PDF generated through complex inversion for each network scenario

Both analytical models significantly over predict delay,


particularly at higher traffic
loads, fixed point iteration required for service delay distribution for each network scenario

Queuing analysis for delay


and throughput analysis of
EDCA
Both saturation and nonsaturation conditions; Imperfect channel; Dynamic network: number of active stations and channel are variable;
AIFS, CW and TXOP are enabled
Analytical model accurately
predicts both delay and
throughput
under
heavy
traffic loads; The analytical
model adapts to changing
conditions at runtime:
a
set of recursive solution is
not required for each new
scenario; System is analytically tractable for runtime
deployment

50

Models

CHAPTER 6. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

6.2

51

Conclusion and Future Work

In this work, delay and throughput analysis of the IEEE 802.11 EDCA has been extensively studied. Existing models aim to comprehensively capture the features of the
enhanced distributed channel access to arrive at accurate analytical frameworks for performance metrics, primarily delay and throughput. The nature of the back-off process
coupled with the service differentiation parameters make this a complex problem. Based
on this premise, the model developed in this thesis aims to address both the issue of complexity and accuracy. A novel approach of measuring actual network conditions including
error probability and the time the channel is busy, resolves both the issues at hand. The
effect of all active stations within the network are captured by these parameters; the ensuing analysis is then a simple application of non-preemptive priority queuing. The effect
of TXOP, AIFS and CW are all catered for, which is a great step up from most other
models. The results show a high level of accuracy, comparable with the most complex
existing models.
The most significant aspect of this work in comparison with other existing analytical results is that of high applicability to dynamic network conditions. The environment
changes due to the channel conditions, or the number of active stations increasing or decreasing; the model provides updated results without lengthy recursive calculations. This
gives an edge over models that are based on the assumption of stationarity, employ iterative solutions, or both. Borne out by the comparison presented above in this section, this
feature offers an edge both in terms of accurate analysis and run time application.
An inherent limitation of the analytical model presented in this work stems from that
the fact that it based on averaging. This accounts for the decreased accuracy under light
traffic loads. The system performance is not adequately captured in this scenario. This
limitation can be addressed by incorporating the retry limit and the maximum contention
window size into the analytical work. However, this leads to cumbersome analysis, and
from the perspective of admission control, this is not necessary; at lower loads, the system
throughput is less in comparison with the system capacity and stringent admission control
is not required. The analytical tractability of this work comes from run time estimation
of both the error/retransmission probability and the time that the channel stays busy between successive successful transmissions of any station. In this context, the model alone
is not enough to predict the delay based solely on the number of active stations. This is
an inherent limitation of this work, and form a good area for future exploration.
This work can be extended to the analytical formulation of jitter, which is a very
important, and largely overlooked, service metric for real time traffic. Another important
direction for future consideration is the extension of this work to the centralized channel
access mechanism, the hybrid coordination channel access (HCCA). This would ensure
that the entire system is analytically modeled, thus providing a complete picture of the
achievable service by the system under changing network conditions.

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Appendix A

Presented Paper NTMS 2014

55

56

APPENDIX A. PRESENTED PAPER NTMS 2014

Measurement Based Call Admission Control (CAC)


to improve QoS for IEEE 802.11e WLAN
Arshad Hussain

Najeeb ul Hassan

Farah Nadeem

Member, IEEE
Department of Electrical Engineering
National University of Computer
& Emerging Sciences
Lahore, Pakistan
Email: arshad.hussain@nu.edu.pk

Student Member, IEEE


Vodafone Chair
Mobile Communications Systems
Dresden University of Technology
Dresden, Germany,
Email: najeeb ul.hassan@tu-dresden.de

Student Member, IEEE


Department of Electrical Engineering
National University of Computer
& Emerging Sciences
Lahore, Pakistan
Email: L125102@lhr.nu.edu.pk

AbstractWithin the framework that the IEEE 802.11e


provides for quality of service (QoS) provisioning, effective
admission control is required to ensure requisite delay and
throughput for real time traffic. To this end, several admission
control algorithms have been proposed. In this paper, we
propose a measurement based admission control algorithm, with
an aim to provide dynamic adaptability at low computational
complexity, without reliance on complex analytical throughput
calculation. The information of percentage drop at each station
under heavy load is utilized to ensure acceptable performance
for real time traffic. The proposed algorithm also provides
prioritized QoS and presents considerable improvement over
existing algorithms of similar complexity, striving at a balance
between efficient channel resource utilization and service
requirements.
Keywords: IEEE 802.11 MAC; EDCA; Admission Control; QoS

I. I NTRODUCTION
With the advent of wireless technology, portable communication devices have become increasingly pervasive, as have
real time multimedia services. Supporting these applications
pose formidable challenge because of their quality of service
(QoS) requirements in terms of throughput and delay in an
inherently dynamic environment.
The IEEE 802.11e [1] provides a basic framework for
QoS provisioning. This set of amendments to the medium
access control (MAC) layer specifies a distributed access
approach, called enhanced distributed channel access (EDCA).
The purpose is to support priority based service differentiation
in the MAC layer. However, this framework can successfully
provide QoS only if accompanied by effective admission
control; admission of new flows has to be restricted to prevent
overloading in the QoS basic service set (QBSS). Otherwise,
the system undergoes performance degradation, particularly
in terms of delay and effective throughput. A call admission
control (CAC) algorithm ensures that a new traffic stream will
not degrade the QoS requirements of already existing streams,
while connections that can be handled within existing resources are accommodated; thus achieving a balance between
optimal resource utilization and service provisioning.

In this paper, we analyze the performance of the IEEE


802.11e CAC [1] which has been proposed for the WLAN
QoS-enabled access point (QAP) operating in infrastructure
mode. Based on the results, and ascertained issues, we then
propose a measurement based admission control strategy to
provide the differentiated services QoS for real-time traffic in
EDCA which works for enhanced performance as compared to
the original IEEE 802.11e CAC, offering dynamic adaptability
with changing channel conditions.
The paper is organized as follows: section II gives a
brief description of functionality of EDCA channel access
mechanism, section III details related work and contributions
in the field of admission control, while section IV describes the
proposed CAC scheme. In section V, performance comparison
for existing and the proposed CAC algorithms is done via
simulation on the network simulator (NS-2) [2]. The last
section concludes the paper with a discussion on the results
and an insight into possible future direction.
II. F EATURES IN IEEE 802.11e EDCA
EDCA is the enhanced version of the IEEE 802.11 contention based legacy distributed coordination function (DCF).
EDCA is intended to provide service differentiation to various
traffic types by providing distributed access to the medium
based on priority. Each station implements multiple access
categories (ACs), each with an independent queue. In order
of decreasing priority, the ACs are voice, video, best effort
and background. Contention parameters, namely the minimum
and maximum contention window (CW) and arbitrary interframe space (AIFS), are chosen so as to provide the highest
priority AC, voice, with highest channel access probability.
The operation of each ACs access function is similar to DCF
and its details can be found in [1]. An additional feature in
802.11e is EDCA transmission opportunity (TXOP). This is
defined as the period for which a channel access function has
the right to access the medium after a successful contention,
with the maximum duration defined in TXOPLimit. Another
important feature in 802.11e is the MAC service data units
(MSDU) life time for real-time traffic. This feature drops
a frame from transmit queue if it has waited beyond the

978-1-4799-3223-8/14/$31.00 2014 IEEE

57

APPENDIX A. PRESENTED PAPER NTMS 2014

delay bound limit associated with this category. For the higher
priority ACs, the standard mandates the implementation of
CAC.
The IEEE 802.11e specifies a sample CAC algorithm [1].
When a mobile node in a QBSS initializes real-time multimedia traffic, it seeks admission from the QAP by sending
it an add traffic stream (ADDTS) request frame. The request
frame contains the traffic specification information (TSPEC),
including average data rate (), nominal MSDU size (L),
physical rate (R) and surplus bandwidth allowance (BW s ).
The node calculates the BW s (which is the time required
for retries) based on the retransmission probability, pe , and
probability of any given frame being dropped (Pdrop ). The
QAP also computes the medium time, tm , which is the time
required by the requesting AC.
The QAP maintains variable network utilization characteristic for EDCA (N U CEDCA ). This is defined as the time utilized for EDCA per unit time, which, along with the medium
time, determines whether a new stream can be admitted. A
TXOP for the new connection in beacon time (tbnc ) is allowed
as long as the following relation holds:
tbnc > N U CEDCA + tm .

(1)

If relation (1) is satisfied, the flow is admitted and allocated


channel time is sent in response to the requesting access
category. Otherwise, admission is denied.
This CAC sets the baseline for admission control. However, it leaves open many issues that need to be addressed,
particularly adaptation to dynamically changing network and
channel conditions. This is primarily due to a static assumption
for the re-transmission probability, pe , which is not the case
in realistic network configurations.
III. R ELATED W ORK
Given the shortfalls in the de facto proposed CAC, extensive effort has been put into designing and implementing
effective CAC algorithms. Like most other scenarios, this
poses a tractability versus efficacy paradigm. Algorithms that
are complex require heavy computation at the QAP, while
simplistic solutions often lead to either under-utilization of
the channel or unacceptable delay performance caused by too
many admitted streams. In this regard, several solutions have
been proposed [3][8]. A performance analysis for feedback
based admission control has been conducted in [9]. Dynamic
bandwidth allocation using closed loop algorithm have also
been proposed, and a survey to the effect has been conducted
in [10], detailing the performance of CAC schemes.
Several efforts focus on transmission of voice only, however,
a solution that can support a realistic mix of traffic is required.
Barry et al. [3] have proposed a virtual MAC algorithm
that passively monitors the channel by virtual MAC frames
and estimates local service level (i.e., throughput and delay)
by the measurement of virtual frames. In addition, a virtual
source (VS) algorithm allows application parameters to be
tuned according to dynamic channel conditions by utilizing
virtual MAC. However, virtual MAC calculations complicate

the mobile node, posing a computationally expensive solution.


Valaee and Li [11] have presented a measurement-based
admission procedure using a sequence of probe packets for
ad-hoc networks. Shah et al. [4] present a measurement based
admission control algorithm using data packets to measure
the network load. This scheme recommends communication
over application layer, which creates heavy overhead. Pong
and Moors [5] suggest calculating the achievable throughput
based on collision statistics and changing the priority of flows
by modifying the minimum contention window, CWmin . This
algorithm changes the EDCA parameters frequently which is
generally not recommended, and the time complexity of this
algorithm is exponential. Kuo and Lu [12] have made use
of expected value of throughput and delay for admit traffic;
requests are accepted if the expected values correspond to
the QoS requirements of traffic being admitted as well as
the existing traffic. A guaranteed delay scheduler has been
proposed in [9], which offers improved performance over basic
admission control schemes, but at additional computational
complexity.
IV. A DMISSION C ONTROL FOR EDCA
Recent works have maintained a focus on complex admission control algorithms, both in terms of computational
expense and modification to EDCA parameters. In this paper
we focus on the design of a simple CAC algorithm that can
be applied to all sorts of traffic with lesser modification in the
IEEE 802.11e standard. The proposed CAC also provides prioritized QoS and it is computationally relatively inexpensive;
additionally, none of the specifications of EDCA are violated.
The proposed CAC algorithm is measurement based, and
depends on the number of retries a frame requires for successful transmission. The frame dropping frequency depends
on both the contention and channel error, which are dynamic
in nature. Hence the number dropped is also variable. The
main strength of this scheme is the ability to adapt to changing
scenario in terms of both traffic loss and channel outage. Using
this information, each flow updates the value of pe . The value
of pe is assumed to be 0.1 at the start of operation when a
connection is initiated. This is a realistic figure for a network
with average number of transmitting stations, and is derived
from the analytical model presented in [13].
Let M [i] be the number of MSDUs transmitted by ith AC
of QoS-aware station (QSTA) and Me [i] be the number of
unsuccessful attempts. Then the probability of error at ith AC
can be calculated as,
Pe [i] =

Me [i]
M [i] + Me [i]

(2)

Since EDCA provides differentiated access to wireless


medium, the collision faced by different ACs will be different.
Each node uses Pe [i] to estimate the BW s and uses it in the
re-negotiation phase.
A significant contribution of the algorithm is to statistically
ensure that the admitted flows do not get severely affected
by dynamic variability of the channel. Therefore, the QSTA

58

APPENDIX A. PRESENTED PAPER NTMS 2014

TABLE I
EDCA PARAMETERS FOR S IMULATION

AC (Priority)
AIFSN
CW min
CW max
TXOP Limit (ms)
Admission Required
MSDU Life Time (ms)

Voice
3
2
7
15
3
Yes
50

Video
2
2
15
31
5
Yes
100

TABLE II
S UMMARY P ERFORMANCE C OMPARISON OF THE CAC A LGORITHMS

Background
0
7
31
1023
0
No
No limit

Admitted flows
Throughput (kb/s)
Delay (ms)
Percentage Drop

keeps measuring the number of frames dropped at each AC


(M [i] & Me [i]) and communicates these numbers to the QAP
at regular intervals using empty fields in MAC header. The
QAP maintains the record of percentage drop at each station
and total percentage drop for voice and video flows. Minimum
requirements for both voice and video have been extensively
studied; the acceptable packet drop for both streams have
been established [14], and the upper limit for acceptable
performance is given by:
P ercentageDropvoice < 0.05
P ercentageDropvideo < 0.1

(3)

Whenever an admission request is received at QAP, it


compares the two test statistics N U C and percentage drop
of the admitted flows with corresponding thresholds; if both
satisfy the threshold, the new request is entertained. Thus
the admission is granted if equations (1) and (3) hold. The
algorithm is initialized with an assumed pe , which is based on
analytical results. The dynamic environment is catered for at
each new request event and thus acceptable QoS is maintained
for both existing and new streams.
V. S IMULATION R ESULTS
A Simulation model of the IEEE 802.11e EDCA operating
in infrastructure mode has been constructed using NS-2. All
stations remain within the QBSS during the simulations. The
simulation uses standard 802.11b PHY module with maximum
data rate up to 11 Mbps using a noiseless channel. EDCA
simulation parameters have been listed in table I.
Three different types of traffic (voice, video, and background) have been simulated. Voice and background are taken
as CBR and video is taken as VBR. Hence, the simulation
closely reflects network load conditions in real-life scenarios.
Throughput, access delay and percentage drop have been
calculated for the purpose of analysis. Throughput is the
number of bits successfully transmitted per second. Access
delay is the time the head-of-line data packet spends at the
MAC layer before being successfully transmitted. The realtime applications have a delay bound after which the frame is
useless; the percentage of packet drop for high priority traffic
represents the fraction of frames which were discarded due to
the violation of the delay bound.
The original CAC proposed in [1] has been simulated and
its performance under increasing load is given in table II. The

Type
Voice
Video
Voice
Video
Voice
Video
Voice
Video

IEEE
23
21
1
3
20
42
17
27

Pong & Moors


6
4
0.4
1
3
5
0
0

Proposed
18
17
1
3
17
39
7
12

key observation is that as number of admitting flows increase,


the percentage drop increases. However, the algorithm keeps
admitting new flows, reaching a point where the QoS of
the admitted flows degrades to the extent where the existing
connections become useless. Again, the primary impediment
to performance is that the value of pe is static and does not
take into account the wireless channel variability. This results
in the CAC admitting too many flows and overloading the
system, causing too many packet drops and degrading realtime communication requirements beyond acceptable limits.
A. 11 Mbps Channel
Here, 25 mobile nodes have been simulated, as well as a
base station, which serves as a sink for the flows. Each node
generates the same mix of offered traffic; voice, video and
background. Simulation starts with 25 background flows with
incrementally added voice and video flows. The simulation
has been performed using three different algorithms, namely,
IEEE 802.11e reference CAC, Pong & Moors CAC, and the
proposed CAC. Table II shows the summary of the comparison
results of these CAC algorithms.
The detailed performance curves of these algorithms in
terms of bandwidth, delay and percentage drop for video flows
have been plotted in Figs. 1 to 3. The bandwidth achieved
by the video flows in proposed CAC algorithm is higher
than Pong & Moors CAC and equal to the IEEE reference
CAC. In IEEE reference CAC and proposed CAC the average
delay of voice and video flows are 20 msec and 42 msec
respectively, which is within acceptable range. In Pong &
Moors CAC the average delay remains constant throughout
the simulation, also in the acceptable range. The percentage of
packet drops in IEEE reference CAC for voice and video flows
are unacceptable as they reach 15% and 30% respectively. The
reason is that the reference CAC admits 23 voice and 21 video
flows and hence its performance degrades significantly. At the
other extreme, Pong & Moors CAC only admits 6 voice and 4
video flows (too conservative), hence, there is no issue of any
packet drop, but the channel is under-utilized. In the proposed
CAC the percentage drop of voice and video flows are 7% and
12% respectively. This is at the boundary of the delay bound as
it admits 18 voice and 17 video flows, thus achieving balance
between channel utilization and performance.

59

APPENDIX A. PRESENTED PAPER NTMS 2014

Fig. 1. Bandwidth achieved by video flows when different CAC algorithms


are applied

have proposed a measurement based dynamic call admission


control mechanism for EDCA. The comparison with other
CAC algorithms via simulation demonstrates that the proposed
algorithm admits more flow without overloading the system to
the point of unacceptable service degradation. The proposed
CAC strikes a balance between too conservative (Pong &
Moors CAC) and too liberal (IEEE 802.11e CAC) algorithms.
The cost is very little as the empty fields of MAC frame are
utilized to transmit channel effect at particular mobile station.
As a future direction, work is being done on developing an
analytical model for overall MAC layer delay for EDCA. This
model can then be used to form the basis for a more robust
admission control algorithm.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This research has partly been sponsored by the Pakistan Telecommunication Cooperation R&D fund under grant
R&DF/A-23/2004-05.
R EFERENCES

Fig. 2. Mean delay for video flows when different CAC algorithms are applied

Fig. 3. Percentage drop for video flows when different CAC algorithms are
applied

VI. C ONCLUSION
In this paper, we have analyzed the importance of the
admission control mechanism in WLAN for providing QoS
to real-time flows. We have extensively analyzed the performance of the IEEE reference 802.11e CAC algorithm via
simulation and observed that under heavy loads, it degrades
the performance of the system by introducing high delay
and large percentage drop for frames. To remedy this at
lower computational cost than existing CAC algorithms, we

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Conference (GLOBECOM), Dec. 2003, pp. 174 178.
[6] Q.-l. Wu, Z.-j. Huang, and S.-y. Wang, Heterogeneous voice flowsoriented call admission control in IEEE 802.11 e WLANs, International
Journal of Electronics, no. ahead-of-print, pp. 122, 2013.
[7] I. Iskandar and Y. Bandung, Supporting QoS in multimedia over 802.11
e wireless network with adaptive framework, in Cloud Computing and
Social Networking (ICCCSN), 2012 International Conference on. IEEE,
2012, pp. 14.
[8] D. B. Rawat, D. C. Popescu, and M. Song, Performance enhancement
of EDCA access mechanism of IEEE 802.11 e wireless LAN, in Radio
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(VTC-Fall), Sep. 2002, pp. 1244 1248.
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Appendix B

Published Paper IJWI

60

APPENDIX B. PUBLISHED PAPER IJWI

61

Int J Wireless Inf Networks


DOI 10.1007/s10776-014-0238-8

Saturation Throughput Analysis of IEEE 802.11e EDCA


Through Analytical Model
Muhammad Fahad Usman Arshad Hussain
Farah Nadeem

Received: 31 August 2013 / Accepted: 7 May 2014


Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Abstract The IEEE 802.11e EDCA is designed to provide quality of support for real time applications with
stringent latency and throughput requirements. Theoretical
frameworks for analysis of throughput performance of
wireless LAN employing exponential back-off exist
extensively. Several models rely on simplification
assumptions that preclude their direct applicability to the
enhanced distributed coordination access (EDCA) which
uses heterogeneous protocol parameters, while other
models are exceedingly complex to analyze. In this paper, a
tractable analytical model is proposed for saturation
throughput of the IEEE 802.11e EDCA. The prioritization
through channel access parameters including the AIFS and
contention window is catered for within a three dimensional Markov chain. The integration of back-off counter
freezing and retry limit enhance the models precision. Its
validation is done by simulation on NS-2. Practical applicability of the model is established based on accuracy and
computational efficiency. The model is utilized for
throughput analysis of the EDCA under saturated traffic
loads.
Keywords IEEE 802.11e  EDCA  Wireless networks 
Performance analysis  Saturation throughput

M. F. Usman
Mentor Graphics, Lahore, Pakistan
e-mail: fahad_usman@mentor.com

Notations
Steady state probability of the state representing
aki;j
back-off stage i, back-off counter j, and previously
sensed medium state k
CWmax Maximum contention window size
CWmin Minimum contention window size
m
Maximum back-off stage after which the value of
contention window is not increased
nh
Number of contending higher priority flows
nl
Number of contending lower priority flows
p0
Probability that the medium is busy after after an
idle slot
p1
Probability that the medium is busy after after a
busy slot
Pc
Probability that a given time slot contains a
collision
Pi
Probability that a given time slot is idle
Ps
Probability of a successful transmission in a time slot
PL
Length of payload in bits
r
Retry limit
S
Saturation throughput
TXOP Transmission opportunity
Tc
Time spent due to a collision
Ts
Time spent due to a successful transmission
Wi
Back-off window at the ith back-off stage
r
Time slot duration
h
Probability that a higher priority flow accesses
s0
the medium after a busy slot
Probability of medium access by a lower priority flow
sh1

A. Hussain  F. Nadeem (&)


FAST NUCES, Lahore, Pakistan
e-mail: farah.nadeem@nu.edu.pk

1 Introduction

A. Hussain
e-mail: arshad.hussain@nu.edu.pk

Enjoying unprecedented commercial success, IEEE 802.11


wireless LANs now form an essential component of

123

APPENDIX B. PUBLISHED PAPER IJWI

62
Int J Wireless Inf Networks

communication networks. As they have become ubiquitous, so have real time multimedia applications over
wireless medium. This poses substantial challenges, since
real time applications have inherently greater sensitivity to
delay and throughput than best effort services. The original
IEEE 802.11 standard, designed for best effort services, is
fundamentally lacking in mechanisms to support quality of
support (QoS); thus providing priority based service differentiation is an essential requirement while dealing with
real time applications.
Although the IEEE 802.11 defines several PHY layer
specifications, e.g. the 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g, the
medium access control (MAC) layer is same for all. To
introduce a framework that facilitates service guarantees,
enhancements have been suggested at the MAC layer. The
focus is on providing decentralized or distributed prioritization mechanisms as a first step towards furnishing real
time applications including voice over IP and live high
definition TV (HDTV) streaming with requisite latency and
throughput. To this end, the IEEE 802.11e [1] standard has
been proposed which has now been incorporated in the
IEEE 802.11. For the IEEE 802.11e, the distributed channel access mechanism is the enhanced distributed coordination access (EDCA), falling under the ambit of
prioritization via channel access parameters. The extent to
which EDCA succeeds in providing QoS support remains
an ongoing research area. In this respect, theoretical
framework for performance analysis is crucial. Generally,
essential levels of service are provided via admission
control algorithms, which determine whether new stations
can be handled while maintaining the required access
delay, jitter and throughput for existing real time flows of
the stations. These algorithms require performance prediction in terms of metrics to operate, which are provided
by analysis models. Since the throughput, defining successful data transmission per unit time, is an important
metric for ensuring whether an application will receive
services consistent with the given quality criterion, the
central goal of the analysis is to predict throughput under
both saturated and unsaturated traffic loads. In this context,
several models have been put forth in literature; however,
these models often rely on simplification assumptions that
fail to take into account salient features of the standard. In
the cases where attempts have been made to factor in all
details of the standard, the resulting models are exceedingly complex, which precludes extensions and run-time
analysis.
To address these issues, this paper proposes an analytical model to accurately capture service differentiation
mechanism of the IEEE 802.11e EDCA at less computational cost, making it applicable to call admission control
and runtime optimization. The fundamental framework is a
three dimensional (3-D) discrete time Markov model, an

123

extension to the framework by Bianchi [3] which examined


the original IEEE 802.11 distributed coordination function
(DCF). The model is applied for throughput performance
analysis of the EDCA under saturation conditions. The rest
of the paper is arranged as follows: Sect. 2 introduces DCF
and EDCA, related works and the contributions are summarized in Sect. 3. Section 4 details the proposed analytical framework, followed by model validation through
simulation results in Sect. 5. Section 6 concludes the
paper, with a discussion on the obtained results and the
future direction of work.

2 DCF and EDCA Overview


The EDCA builds upon the legacy IEEE 802.11 DCF,
which employs carrier sense multiple access with collision
avoidance. Although the original IEEE 802.11 standard
also specifies the point coordination function, which is a
centralized mechanism for medium access, DCF enjoys
more success due to the fact that distributed schemes entail
simpler implementation and lesser overheads, and accommodate more flexible network configurations. The rationale
behind listen before talk schemes for wireless access is that
collisions cannot be detected; hence they are avoided. This
is accomplished through two techniques, the back-off
algorithm and the interframe space (IFS) inset.
On the arrival of a MAC data frame at the head of
queue, it is transmitted if the medium is sensed idle for
prescribed time duration, which is referred to as the DCF
IFS (DIFS). If the channel is sensed busy, the transmission
is deferred, with the deferral time determined by the backoff algorithm. In DCF, exponential back-off is employed.
For the first transmission attempt, the back-off interval is
randomly chosen from a uniform interval 0; CWmin . The
back-off counter is decreased every time the medium is idle
for a DIFS, and frozen when an ongoing transmission is
sensed on the medium. The counter is resumed only when
the medium is again sensed free for a DIFS. On the backoff counter reaching zero, the station transmits the MAC
data frame. Successful frame transmission is indicated by
an acknowledgement (ACK) from the receiving station.
The station transmitting an ACK waits for a short IFS
(SIFS), (which is the IFS). This allows for immediate
transmission instead of the usual contention for channel
access. In case there is no ACK, there is assumed to be a
collision, and the station retransmits with CW augmented
to twice its previous value. For every successive retransmission, the process is repeated till CWmax is reached. After
this limit, the contention window size is held constant until
the retry limit is reached, upon which the packet is dropped
if still not transmitted successfully. In addition to the basic
ACK mechanism, the DCF also provides for a four way

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handshaking procedure (RTS/CTS) to counter the hidden


terminal problem.
Since the channel access parameters are uniform for all
traffic, there is no prioritization as all streams have equal
probability of gaining channel access. To introduce service
differentiation, EDCA defines four different access categories
(ACs) based on the latency and throughput required. These
are, in decreasing list of priority: voice (VO), video (VI), best
effort and background. Each station maps traffic into one of
these four categories, which are then treated as virtual stations
and contend independently for medium access.
To achieve the necessary service guarantees, values of
channel access parameters are assigned so that higher priority ACs have a higher channel access probability than
lower priority ACs. These parameters are the arbitrary IFS
(AIFS) instead of the uniform DIFS, and differentiated
CWmin and CWmax . In addition, TXOP is defined for each
category. This enables contention free bursting for an AC
once it has obtained channel access, for a duration that does
not exceed the TXOP limit for that AC. The AC that has
stringent delay requirements, VO, is assigned smaller
AIFS, CWmin and CWmax than other ACs. Since the VI_AC
has the greatest throughput requirement, it is provided
longer medium access through larger TXOP limit. In
addition, an extended IFS is defined by the standard. The
purpose is to provide the stations that were involved in a
collision greater likelihood to access the channel as compared to other stations in the post collision period. When
two ACs within the same station simultaneously decrement
their back-off counters to zero, a virtual collision occurs.
Channel access is granted to the higher priority stream and
the lower priority stream undergoes the post-collision
back-off process, with doubled CW (upto CWmax ).

3 Related Work and Contribution


Given the significance of analytical modeling, several
theoretical frameworks have been proposed for the IEEE
802.11e EDCA [4, 5, 10, 1315]. The model proposed by
Bianchi in [3] forms the basis of several of these analytical
models. Bianchi models the exponential back-off for the
DCF using a discrete time two dimensional Markov chain.
One dimension caters for back-off counter value, which is
non-Markovian since it is dependent on the number of
retries suffered. Thus the second dimension describes the
back-off stage. The underlying basis for the steady state
model is the assumption of constant collision or retransmission probability; which in terms of the analysis leads to
a constant state transition probability, thus allowing for a
Markov chain. A point of interest is the time scale adopted
for the model; the interval between consecutive time slots
may include the event of back-off counters freezing, this

indicates that the interval is likely to span an entire packet


transmission. Thus the time between two consecutive time
slots does not relate directly to the system time. The model
yields an elegant closed form expression for transmission
probability. However, this result can only be achieved if
the retry limit is not considered, as in this model.
In actual DCF and EDCA operation, the probability of
decrementing of back-off counter and transmission is conditional on the state of the channel preceding the event,
which has not been catered for in the original work proposed
by Bianchi. Foh et al extended the model for saturation
throughput analysis of DCF [4]. The main contribution of
this model is the specific inclusion of the effects of freezing
back-off counters, which has been done through introduction
of a third variable indicating the state of the medium in the
previous time slot. Also, the primary assumption regarding
the concept of fixed transition probability is no longer
directly applicable in the case of EDCA due to AIFS differentiation mechanism; each AC has a different probability
of state transitioning at the same time instant. This probability may also not remain constant throughout the entire
time slot chosen for the analysis. Therefore extension of this
model for EDCA requires additional states to fully encapsulate the back-off counter freezing with different AIFS.
A detailed Markov chain model has been presented for
EDCA in [14] by creating two different Markov chains;
one for the lowest priority AC and one for the three higher
priority ACs. The draw back in this model is the lack of
inclusion of freezing counters for the higher priority chain.
The approach of an additional state has also been applied in
[15], which has been designed to analyze the back-off
based prioritization of the EDCA, i.e. varying CWmin and
CWmax . The fact that the model has not been designed to
cater for AIFS indicates its lack of accuracy.
Various steps have been taken towards further accuracy
enhancements for analytical modeling incorporating all the
features of the protocol [57, 10, 12, 13, 16]. The work
presented by [6] explores the effect of higher priority ACs
on lower priority ACs within the Markov chain model. The
model assigns counter decrement probability based on the
priority of the AC; this has led to an improved results in
terms of capturing AIFS differentiation. In an attempt to
simplify the analysis, [11] presented a mean value analysis,
that aims at accurate computation of saturation throughput
based on AC specific contention parameters (including the
AIFS, CWmin and CWmax ). An approach utilizing a one
dimensional Markov chain for transition through back-off
slots has been presented in [7, 8]. This analysis relies on
long term occupancy probabilities of time slots in different
contention zones; as in other Markov chain models, the
conditional collision and transmission probabilities are
derived then used for throughput computation based on
results similar to those presented in [3].

123

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To cater for the differentiation due to CWmin and CWmax ,


AIFS and TXOP limit, a complex four dimensional model
has been proposed in [12, 13]. The additional states indicate the period in which the system is, and the number of
time slots left till the culmination of that period. The
inclusion of retry limit, which dictates that a closed form
expression for transmission probability does not exist,
coupled with the increasing number of states of the Markov
chain, contribute to undue complexity, which is an
impediment to run-time applications. A 3-D Markov
model, proposed in [5], aims at accurately capturing the
differentiation mechanism of CW and AIFS for saturated
traffic conditions. A similar approach has been adopted in
[10]. The proposed framework in both cases include far
greater number of states than proposed in [4], and cater for
the same parameters, i.e. IFS and CW at the cost of added
complexity.
Thus, despite the fact that numerous analytical models
exist, there is a need to design a model that balances
accuracy and computational cost.

4 Proposed Analytical Model


An analytical model is presented in this section to compute the
throughput of the IEEE 802.11e EDCA networks under saturation conditions. The basis for the model is a 3-D Markov
chain. As in several other works, the framework proposed is an
extension to the work by Bianchi [3]. The CW and AIFS
differentiation is handled within the Markov Chain, incorporating both freezing of back-off counters (as proposed in [4])
and retry limit. The addition of retry limit count enables the
calculation of frame drop rate and drop probability. Since the
probability of channel access is not influenced by TXOP limit,
the model does not incorporate this parameter.
VI and VO are modeled using a single Markov chain as
in [5] because both have the minimum AIFS, henceforth
referred to as the higher priority chain. For the sake of
simplicity, lower priority ACs are modeled using a single
chain, henceforth referred to as the lower priority chain.
We have assumed that the AIFS differs by one time slot for
the two categories. Thus the lower priority flows have to
wait for the medium to be idle for one time slot longer to
decrement the back-off counter or to transmit once the
counter has reached zero, as compared to the high priority
flows. Within this time slot, the medium is available to the
higher priority flows. The back-off stage i ranges from 0 to
r and is incremented after each collision. If there is a
collision at the rth retry, there is no successive retransmission and the packet is discarded. The assumption is
made that r[m, which corresponds to most practical
implementations. For every back-off stage, the initial value

123

of the back-off counter is randomly selected, with uniform


probability, in the interval 0; 1; . . .; Wi , where the value of
Wi is given by:
 i
0im
2 CWmin
Wi
m
2 CWmin
mir
The proposed Markov chain is defined by three variables
fi; j; kg, with i representing the back-off stage and j signifying the back-off counter value, similar to [3]. The
variable k assumes values either 0 or 1, depending on
whether the last sensed state of the medium was idle or
busy, respectively. Virtual collisions are not catered for
within this model. Since virtual collision cause less
overhead than actual collisions, this model will give a
lower performance bound for the system throughput
performance.

4.1 Model for Higher Priority Flows


The Markov chain model for the higher priority flow is
shown in Fig. 1.
The non-null state transition probabilities in this model
corresponding to the medium being idle in the previous
time slot, i.e. k 0, are:
Pfi; j; 0ji; j 1; 0g 1  p0

i 2 f0; r g; j 2 f0; Wi  3g

Pfi; j; 1ji; j; 0g p0
1  p0
Pf0; j; 1ji; 0; 0g
W0
p0
Pfi; j; 1ji  1; 0; 0g
Wi

i 2 f0; r g; j 2 f0; Wi  2g
i 2 f0; r  1g; j 2 f0; W0  1g
i 2 f1; r g; j 2 f0; Wi  1g

These transitions describe, in order: decrementing the


back-off counter when a free slot is encountered, freezing
back-off counter on encountering a busy slot, successful
transmission, and collision. The parallel transitions corresponding to the medium being busy in the previous time,
i.e. k 1, are:
Pfi; j; 0ji; j 1; 1g 1  p1

i 2 f0; r g; j 2 f0; Wi  2g

Pfi; j; 1ji; j; 1g p1
1  p1
Pf0; j; 1ji; 0; 1g
W0
p1
Pfi; j; 1ji  1; 0; 1g
Wi

i 2 f0; r g; j 2 f0; Wi  1g
i 2 f0; r  1g; j 2 f0; W0  1g
i 2 f1; r g; j 2 f0; Wi  1g

The transition describing the rth re-transmission is:


Pf0; j; 1jr; 0; kg

1
W0

j 2 f0; W0  1g; k 2 f0; 1g

The solution of the chains entails the calculation of the


steady state probabilities aki;j . From the regularity of the
chain, in general we can write:

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Int J Wireless Inf Networks
Fig. 1 Markov chain model for
higher priority flows

a1i;j

Wi  1  jp0 1 1
ai;0 i 2 f0; rg j 2 f1; Wi  1g
1  p1
1

a0i;j Wi  1  ja1i;0

i 2 f0; rg

where a1i;0 can be expressed as:

j 2 f1; Wi  2g

a1i;0

i 
Y
p1
x1


p0

Wx1  1 a10;0
Wx Wx

i 2 f1; rg

The normalization condition of this chain is:


!
W
W
r
i 2
i 1
X
X
X
a0i;j
a1i;j 1
i1

j0

j0

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Fig. 2 Markov chain model for


lower priority flows

Value of a10;0 is given in terms of p0 and p1 ; all values of aki;j


can then be evaluated in terms of a10;0 from (1)(4).
4.2 Model for Lower Priority Flows
The model for the lower priority AC, shown in Fig. 2,
caters for the longer AIFS. When the medium goes idle
after a busy slot, there is an alteration to a new state,

123

demonstrating the preceding idle state of the medium. The


back-off counter can only decrement when the previous
time slot was free, i.e. k 0. Thus there are fewer transitions than in the higher priority chain.
In this case, transition probabilities corresponding to the
case where the medium was idle in the previous time slot,
analogous to the similar transitions of the higher priority
chain, are:

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Int J Wireless Inf Networks

Pfi; j; 0ji; j 1; 0g 1  p0

i 2 f0; r g; j 2 f0; Wi  2g

Pfi; j; 1ji; j; 0g p0
1  p0
Pf0; j; 1ji; 0; 0g
W0
p0
Pfi; j; 1ji  1; 0; 0g
Wi

i 2 f0; r g; j 2 f0; Wi  1g
i 2 f0; r  1g; j 2 f0; W0  1g
i 2 f1; r g; j 2 f0; Wi  1g

r
P

When a transmission is detected on the medium in the


previous time slot, there are only two transitions:
Pfi; j; 0ji; j; 1g 1  p1
Pfi; j; 1ji; j; 1g p1

i 2 f0; r g;
i 2 f0; r g;

j 2 f0; Wi  1g
j 2 f0; Wi  1g

These occur when the medium is idle, and a transition


occurs to a state indicating the medium was sensed idle in
the previous slot; and when the medium is sensed busy
again and the state is unchanged, respectively. The transition describing the rth re-transmission is:
1
Pf0; j; 1jr; 0; 0g
W0

j 2 f0; W0  1g

The general expression for a1i;j is given by:


a1i;j

following an idle or busy time period, respectively, is


analogous to [4], and it can be expressed as:
r
P
a0i;0
9
i0
sh0
Pi

1  p1 p0 Wi  1  j  p1 Wi  2  j 1
ai;0
1  p1 1  p0
i 2 f0; rg

j 2 f1; Wi  2g
5

Similarly,
Wi  j  Wi  1  jp1 1
a0i;j
ai;0
1  p0
j 2 f0; Wi  2g

sh1

a1i;0

10

1  Pi

The lower priority flows cannot access the medium after a


busy time slot due to their longer AIFS time. The probability that a lower priority station gains channel access in a
certain time slot is:
r
P
l

i0

a0i;0

11

Pi

Where a0i;0 are the states defined for the lower priority
flows. From a particular stations perspective, a time slot
is busy if at least one of the other stations transmits in
that time slot. The probabilities of a busy time slot, after
an idle or busy time slot, p0 and p1 , respectively, are
given by:
p0 1  1  sh0 nh 1  sl nl
p1 1  1 
Pi

i 2 f0; rg

i0

12

sh1 nh

13

1  p1
1 p0  p1

14

6
Table 1 System parameters

The states a1i;0 are given by:



i 
Y
p0 Wx1  Wx1  1p1 1
1
ai;0
a0;0
Wx 1  p1 1  p0
x1

Parameter
name

Value

Parameter name

Value

Packet payload

8184 bits

Slot time r

50 ls

MAC header

224 bits

ACK timeout

300
ls

The normalization condition of the chain for the lower


priority flows is:
!
W
r
i 1
X
X
a0i;j a1i;j 1
8

PHY header

192 bits

CWmin (higher
priority)

ACK

112 bits

CWmax (higher
priority)

16

RTS packet

160 bits ? PHY


header

CWmin (lower
priority)

16

CTS packet

112 bits ? PHY


header

CWmax (lower
priority)

32

Channel bit
rate

6 Mbit/s

AIFSN (higher
priority)

Propagation
delay

1 ls

AIFSN (lower
priority)

DIFS

34 ls

Long retry limit

SIFS

16 ls

Short retry limit

i1

i 2 f1; rg

j0

4.3 Saturation Throughput


Having established Markov chains for both higher and
lower priority flows, the model is applied to compute the
probabilities governing medium utilization when both priority flows are contending for the medium. The probabilities that a high priority flow will gain medium accesses

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Fig. 3 Saturation throughput


for basic access method, with
minimum contention window
size 16 and retry limit 4

Fig. 4 Saturation throughput


for RTS/CTS access method,
with minimum contention
window size 16 and retry limit 7

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Fig. 5 Saturation throughput
for basic access method, with
minimum contention window
size 16 and retry limit 4

Fig. 6 Saturation throughput


against initial contention
window size (W) (Basic Access
Method)

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Fig. 7 Effect of frame size on


saturation throughput

The probability of a successful transmission in a time slot


is given by:
nh sh1 1  sh1 nh 1 1  Pi
Ps nh sh0 1  sh0 nh 1 1  sl nl Pi

15

nl sl 1  sl nl 1 1  sh0 nh Pi
The probability that a time slot contains a collision is given
by:
Pc 1  Pi  Ps

16

The system throughput is defined as the fraction of time


used for successful payload data transmission over the total
time spent, given by:
S

Ps EfPLg
Pi r Pc Tc Ps Ts

17

Using the requisite values from (14)(16), along with the


values of Tc ; Ts and r in (17) gives us the saturation
throughput.

123

5 Model Validation
The system of non-linear equations formed by (9)(17)
have been numerically solved using Fixed Point Iteration
[9] in order to obtain the value of saturation throughput in
different network scenarios. These results are henceforth
referred to as Fahads model. The numerical results
obtained from our mathematical model have been validated
by comparing them with the results of computer simulation
using the EDCA implementation in [2] on the Network
Simulator 2 (NS-2).
The simulation topology in NS-2 consists of one access
point and a varying number of transmitting stations. Since
virtual collisions are not catered for, each station generates
just one type of traffic, either high or low priority. Saturation state has been obtained using constant bit-rate flows.
Throughput has been calculated by observing the combined
good-put of all the flows once saturation state is obtained.
Both the access mechanisms, basic and RTS/CTS, have
been simulated, with system parameters listed in Table 1.

APPENDIX B. PUBLISHED PAPER IJWI

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Fig. 8 Time slots wasted due to
collision

Fig. 9 Probabilities of idle Slot,


successful transmission, and
collision for initial contention
window size 16

Although recent works [5, 10, 13] aim at more accurate


analysis, they propose models of far greater complexity
than the proposed model. Thus the comparison of the
results is conducted with the model proposed in [4], which
is of comparable computational complexity, henceforth

referred to as Fohs model. The results of the simulation,


the analytical model, and the results obtained from [4] are
compared in Figs. 35. The results validate the models
accuracy, since it can be clearly observed that our model is
more accurate for all system configurations studied, both in

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72
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RTS/CTS and basic access mode. The difference with


simulation results remains well within 1 % in almost all the
cases, which is practically very accurate.
The analytical model has been used to study the effects
of different parameters on the throughput performance of
EDCA, including effects of contention window size and
frame size, as well as collision probabilities, as shown in
Figs. 69.
Several aspects of the 802.11e EDCA have been
explored:

As indicated in Figs. 3 and 4, the throughput declines


severely with increasing number of stations in basic
access mechanism, but it does not fall that rapidly when
RTS/CTS method. This can be explained by the fact
that only a very small RTS/CTS frame is involved in
collision, as opposed to basic access where the entire
payload is lost in a collision.
The basic access method shows variation in the
throughput with contention window size, which, in
case of RTS/CTS method, remains almost constant for
all contention window size, as indicated in Fig. 6. The
throughput in the case of basic access falls sharply with
increasing number of stations, particularly for smaller
contention windows. This is due to the fact that
collision probabilities rise with smaller contention
window sizes; basic mechanism suffers greater penalty
due to collision.
Larger frame sizes tend to give better throughput
performance as indicated in Fig. 7; the performance of
RTS/CTS method is severely affected for smaller frame
sizes since the increasing overhead becomes comparable with the payload data, effectively decreasing rate of
transmission.
Smaller initial or final contention window size leads to
greater time slots lost due to collision, since a smaller
contention window size increases collision probability.
The penalty is lower in all cases of RTS/CTS method
since only the RTS/CTS frames are involved in
collisions, as seen in Fig. 8.
Due to more contending flows, the probability of
collision progressively rises with increasing number of
stations, while that of having an idle slot decreases, as
shown in Fig. 9.

6 Conclusion
Throughput and delay performance are important performance parameters for wireless networks. In this paper, a
3-D Markov chain based analytical model has been proposed for evaluating saturation throughput of the IEEE
802.11e EDCA. The model has been designed to cater for

123

EDCA parameters including CW and AIFS, along with the


retry limit. Due to these features, this model provides
greater accuracy than other models with comparable
computational cost. This has been validated through simulation results in both basic and RTS/CTS access mechanisms. Results based on the model indicate how various
EDCA parameters affect throughput performance. The
inclusion of retry limit necessitates that there is no closed
form solution for the model. Thus a possible extension is to
enhance the efficiency of the model through developing a
method for accurate linear approximation to the set of nonlinear equations obtained. Since throughput prediction
plays a pivotal role in call admission control (CAC) algorithms, a future line of work is to develop a queuing based
analytical framework for throughput analysis of the EDCA
as a basis for an efficient CAC algorithm.

References
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Muhammad Fahad Usman


received the B.S. in software
engineering and M.S. degree in
computer science from National
University of Computer and
Emerging Sciences, Lahore,
Pakistan, in 2003 and 2006,
respectively, with focus on
wireless networks and their
analysis. During his professional career he worked on different
networking
related
projects like peer to peer data
transfer applications and data
leak prevention firewalls. He is
currently working for Mentor Graphics Corporation as part of their
embedded Linux team, enabling various embedded devices to use the
latest versions of embedded Linux and applications. His areas of
interest include wireless networks, statistical analysis, theoretical
computer science and software for embedded systems.

Arshad Hussain received the


B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of
Engineering and Technology,
Lahore, Pakistan, in 1984, M.S.
degree in electrical engineering
from George Washington University, USA, in 1988 and PhD
in electrical engineering from
Polytechnic University, New
York, USA, in 1993. He is a full
professor of electrical engineering at the National University of
Computer and Emerging Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan. He has
taught at Polytechnic University, New York, GIK Institute, Topi,
Pakistan, and National University of Science and Technology, Pakistan. From 1997 till June 2001, he worked in CresSoft as Deputy
Center Manager and Team Lead. Currently, he is professor and head
of electrical engineering department at the National University of
Computer and Emerging Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan. His areas of
interest include Statistical Communication, Computer Networks
modeling, and Wireless Networks.
Farah Nadeem received the
degree of B.S. in electrical
engineering from National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan, in
2008. She is currently pursuing
the degree of M.S. electrical
engineering from National University of Emerging Sciences,
Lahore, Pakistan. Her current
areas of interest include analysis
of and quality of service provisioning in WLANs.

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