Enhanced high-performance distributed coordination function for IEEE 802.11 multi-rate LANs

Chih Heng Ke, Bin Li, Yueh Min Huang, J. Morris Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


To compensate for the effects of fading in wireless channels, IEEE 802.11 systems utilize a rate-adaptation mechanism to accomplish a multi-rate capability. However, the IEEE 802.11 distributed coordination function results in a fundamental performance anomaly in multi-rate networks; namely, when stations with different transmission rates collide, the throughput performance of the high-rate station is significantly degraded by the relatively longer channel occupancy time of the low-rate station. This study resolves this problem through the use of an enhanced high-performance distributed coordination function (EHDCF) protocol. While most existing solutions to the multi-rate performance anomaly problem have the form of simple contention-based protocols, EHDCF has two modes, namely a contending mode and an active mode. In the proposed protocol, new stations joining the network are assigned a contending mode, but switch to an active node (and are therefore permitted to transmit data packets) as soon as they have gained access to the channel. Having transmitted a data packet, the active node then selects the next transmission station in accordance with a probability-based rule designed such that the high-rate stations within the network receive a greater number of transmission opportunities than the low-rate stations. The simulation results show that the EHDCF protocol not only yields a significant improvement in the network throughput but also guarantees the temporal fairness of all the stations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1045-1061
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Communication Systems
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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