Project: MIMAC


TItle: A rate-adaptive mac protocol for mimo-based wireless networks

Description: It is envisioned that the next generation high-throughput wireless LAN standard (IEEE 802.11n), which is currently under development, would use MIMO technology to achieve high data rates. An important design consideration is maintaining backward compatibility with the IEEE 802.11a/g standards. In this context, we present a rate-adaptive MAC protocol for wireless networks with MIMO links. We adopt a joint MAC and physical layer strategy for channel access, based on the instantaneous channel conditions at the receiver. Our contributions include a transmit antenna and data rate selection scheme based on the optimal tradeoff between spatial multiplexing and diversity. The goal is to maximize the achievable data rate, given a MIMO channel instance and a target bit error rate. We also provide a feedback mechanism for the transmitter to obtain the rate selection settings from the receiver. Moreover, we maintain compatibility with legacy 802.11a/g devices and our protocol supports communication between devices with different number of antennas. The overall contribution is a MIMO physical layer aware, rate adaptive MAC protocol, which is compatible with 802.11a/g and can also be readily integrated with the 802.11n proposals.

Status: Inactive Project

Main Research Area: Wireless Communications