An adaptive, high performance mac for long-distance multihop wireless networks

Sergiu Nedevschi, Rabin K. Patra, Sonesh Surana, Sylvia Ratnasamy, Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, Eric A. Brewer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We consider the problem of efficientMAC design for long-distance WiFi-based mesh networks. In such networks it is common to find long propagation delays, the use of directional antennas, and the presence of inter-link interference. Prior work has shown that these characteristics make traditional CSMA-based MACs a poor choice for long-distance mesh networks and this finding has led to several recent research efforts exploring the use of TDMA-based approaches to media access. In this paper we first identify, and then address, several shortcomings of current TDMA-based proposals. First, because they use fixed-length transmission slots, current TDMA-based solutions do not adapt to dynamic variations in traffic load leading to inefficiencies in both throughput and delay. As we show in this paper, the throughput achieved by existing solutions falls far short of the optimal achievable network throughput. Finally, due to the scheduling constraints imposed by inter-link interference, current TDMA-based solutions only apply to bipartite network topologies. In this paper, we present JazzyMac, a simple, practical and efficient MAC protocol that addresses the above limitations. JazzyMac achieves efficiency by allowing variable-length link transmissions slots and then defining a distributed protocol by which nodes adapt the length of their transmission slots to changing traffic demands. JazzyMac is practical in that the adaptation at each node uses purely local information and that our protocol applies to arbitrary network topologies. Finally, the use of dynamic slot sizes allows JazzyMac to achieve better tradeoffs between throughput and delay. We evaluate JazzyMac using detailed simulation over a range of traffic patterns and realistic topologies. Our results show that JazzyMac improves throughput in all considered scenarios. This improvement is often substantial (e.g.,in 50% of our scenarios, throughput improves by over 40%) and is particularly pronounced for the common case of asymmetric traffic (e.g.,leading to almost 100% improvements). Furthermore, compared to current solutions, JazzyMac can achieve much better average delay for the same throughput.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMobiCom'08 - Proceedings of the 14th ACM International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2008
Event14th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2008 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Sep 14 2008Sep 19 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM


Other14th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Long-distance point-to-point wireless
  • Mac protocols
  • Multihop wireless

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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