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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 548109, 14 pages
Research Article

Adaptive Two-Level Frame Aggregation for Fairness and Efficiency in IEEE 802.11n Wireless LANs

1School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Republic of Korea
2Department of Information and Communication Engineering, Dongguk University, Seoul 100-715, Republic of Korea

Received 31 May 2013; Accepted 14 June 2013

Academic Editor: David Taniar

Copyright © 2015 Minho Kim 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.


This paper deals with the problem of performance degradation in wireless local area networks (WLANs) based on IEEE 802.11n. When a wireless channel is shared by heterogeneous stations that have different data rates and packet sizes, each station occupies a different amount of airtime because the basic channel access mechanism of WLAN was originally designed to provide fair chance of channel access, regardless of packet size and data rate. This leads to the degradation of overall network throughput and airtime fairness among stations, which is known as performance anomaly. To resolve this problem, we firstly formulate an optimization problem for a generalized two-level frame aggregation whose objective is to maximize the achievable throughput under the constraint of airtime fairness. Then, we propose a frame size adaptation scheme that controls the number of packets in an aggregated frame. The proposed scheme is fully compatible with the IEEE 802.11 standard and works in a distributed manner, which neither modifies the channel access mechanism nor resorts to a centralized scheduling algorithm. The extensive simulation results confirm that the proposed scheme tightly regulates the airtime usage of each station to be almost the same and significantly improves the overall network throughput compared to other existing schemes.