UCT CS Research Document Archive

A Hardware Test Bed for Measuring IEEE 802.11g DCF Performance

Symington, Andrew and Pieter Kritzinger (2009) A Hardware Test Bed for Measuring IEEE 802.11g DCF Performance. Technical Report CS09-02-00, Department of Computer Science, University of Cape Town.

Full text available as:
PDF - Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader or other PDF viewer.


The Distributed Coordination Function is one of three channel access control protocols specified by the IEEE 802.11 standard. In this paper we present a method of measuring DCF performance using a test bed built with off-the-shelf hardware. Performance is measured by normalized aggregate throughput as a function of the number of stations contending for channel access. We present measurements for both basic access and RTS/CTS access in fully-connected IEEE 802.11g networks experiencing conditions of saturation. We compare our measurements to results from three analytic models and a simulator, all of which shared the same assumptions about the workload model and operation of DCF. For small networks the analytic models predict a much lower performance than shown through simulation and test bed experiments. As the network grows, so the measured performance deteriorates significantly faster than predicted by the analytic models. We attribute this to inaccuracies in the analytic model, imperfect channels and queuing. The simulation results fit the measured data with more accuracy, as the simulator makes fewer restrictive assumptions about DCF when compared to the analytic models. This is the first paper to provide a cross-comparison of test bed, simulation and analytic results for IEEE 802.11g DCF performance.

EPrint Type:Departmental Technical Report
Keywords:IEEE 802.11g, distributed coordination function,
analysis, simulation, modelling, test bed, saturation
Subjects:C Computer Systems Organization: C.2 COMPUTER-COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
ID Code:515
Deposited By:Kritzinger, Pieter
Deposited On:16 April 2009