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Journal of Computer Networks and Communications
Volume 2011, Article ID 972051, 13 pages
Research Article

Efficient Load-Aware Channel Allocation in Wireless Access Networks

Department of Computer and Communications Engineering, University of Thessaly, 38221 Volos, Greece

Received 30 October 2010; Revised 7 February 2011; Accepted 2 March 2011

Academic Editor: Abdallah Shami

Copyright © 2011 George Athanasiou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited..


Dense deployments of hybrid WLANs result in high levels of interference and low end-user throughput. Many frequency allocation mechanisms for WLANs have been proposed by a large body of previous studies. However, none of these mechanisms considers the load that is carried by APs in terms of channel conditions, number of affiliated users as well as communication-load, in conjunction. In this paper, we propose LAC, a load-aware channel allocation scheme for WLANs, which considers all the above performance determinant factors. LAC incorporates an airtime cost metric into its channel scanning process, in order to capture the effects of these factors and select the channel that will provide approximately maximum long-term throughput. We evaluate LAC through extensive OPNET simulations, for many different traffic scenarios. Our simulations demonstrate that LAC outperforms other frequency allocation policies for WLANs in terms of total network throughput by up to 135%.