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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 5 (2009), Issue 1, Pages 5-20

The Impact of Dynamic RTS Threshold Adjustment for IEEE 802.11 MAC Protocol

Mostafa Mjidi,1,2 Debasish Chakraborty,1,2 Naoki Nakamura,1,2 and Norio Shiratori1,2

1Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Graduate School of Information Sciences, Tohoku University, 2-1-1 Katahira, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8577, Japan
2School of Medicine, Tohoku University, 2-1 Seiryoumachi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, 980-8575, Japan

Received 13 April 2009; Accepted 13 April 2009

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


In recent years, wireless technologies and application received great attention. The Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol is the main element that determines the efficiency in sharing the limited communication bandwidth of the wireless channel in wireless local area networks (WLANs). IEEE 802.11 introduced the optional RTS/CTS handshaking mechanism to address the hidden terminal problem as well as to reduces the chance of collision in case of higher node density and traffic. RTS Threshold (RT) determines when RTS/CTS mechanism should be used and proved to be an important parameter for performance characteristics in data transmission. We first investigate to find a meaningful threshold value according to the network situation and determine the impact of using or disengaging the RTS/CTS optional mechanism and dynamically adjust the RTS Threshold to maximize data transmission. The results show a significant improvement over existing CSMA/CA and RTS/CTS schemes. Our adaptive scheme performed even better when data rate increases. We verify our proposed scheme both analytically and with extensive network simulation using ns-2.