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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Design and Implementation of an Enhanced 802.11 MAC Architecture for Single-Hop Wireless Networks

  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 2 and
  • 2
EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking20072007:028315

  • Received: 29 June 2006
  • Accepted: 27 November 2006
  • Published:


Due to its extreme simplicity and flexibility, the IEEE 802.11 standard is the dominant technology to implement both infrastructure-based WLANs and single-hop ad hoc networks. In spite of its popularity, there is a vast literature demonstrating the shortcomings of using the 802.11 technology in such environments, such as dramatic degradation of network capacity as contention increases and vulnerability to external interferences. Therefore, the design of enhancements and optimizations for the original 802.11 MAC protocol has been a very active research area in the last years. However, all these modifications to the 802.11 MAC protocol were validated only through simulations and/or analytical investigations. In this paper, we present a very unique work as we have designed a flexible hardware/software platform, fully compatible with current implementations of the IEEE 802.11 technology, which we have used to concretely implement and test an enhanced 802.11 backoff algorithm. Our experimental results clearly show that the enhanced mechanism outperforms the standard 802.11 MAC protocol in real scenarios.


  • Wireless Network
  • Research Area
  • System Application
  • Analytical Investigation
  • Current Implementation


Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Innovative Technologies, The University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), Via Cantonale, Gallera 2, Manno, 6928, Switzerland
Institute for Information Technology (IIT), National Research Council (CNR), Via G. Moruzzi 1, Pisa, 56124, Italy


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© Ralph Bernasconi et al. 2007

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