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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 2016, Article ID 8967281, 11 pages
Research Article

Adaptive Backoff Algorithm for Contention Window for Dense IEEE 802.11 WLANs

Department of Computer Engineering, Ajou University, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 16499, Republic of Korea

Received 5 December 2015; Accepted 15 May 2016

Academic Editor: Pedro M. Ruiz

Copyright © 2016 Ikram Syed and Byeong-hee Roh. 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.


The performance improvement in IEEE 802.11 WLANs in widely fluctuating network loads is a challenging task. To improve the performance in this saturated state, we develop an adaptive backoff algorithm that maximizes the system throughput, reduces the collision probability, and maintains a high fairness for the IEEE 802.11 DCF under dense network conditions. In this paper, we present two main advantages of the proposed ABA-CW algorithm. First, it estimates the number of active stations and then calculates an optimal contention window based on the active station number. Each station calculates the channel state probabilities by observing the channel for the total backoff period. Based on these channel states probabilities, each station can estimate the number of active stations in the network, after which it calculates the optimal CW utilizing the estimated active number of stations. To evaluate the proposed mechanism, we derive an analytical model to determine the network performance. From our results, the proposed ABA-CW mechanism achieved better system performance compared to fixed-CW (BEB, EIED, LILD, and SETL) and adaptive-CW (AMOCW, Idle Sense) mechanisms. The simulation results confirmed the outstanding performance of the proposed mechanism in that it led to a lower collision probability, higher throughput, and high fairness.