This paper aims at developing an efficient MAC protocol for wireless LAN by considering multi-channel and directional antennae. Extending IEEE 802.11 to a multi-channel environment not only exploits the bandwidth utilization but also reduces the degree of contentions. Involving directional antennae in designing multi-channel MAC protocol additionally increases the spatial reuse, allowing more parallel communications. This study proposes an efficient Multi-Channel MAC protocol with a Directional Antenna (MCDA) for WLAN. Since each station is only equipped with a single antenna, communicating pairs that progress their communications on data channels cannot maintain the channel usage information which is only obtained from the control channel, raising the channel collision problem. The proposed protocol adopts the channel switch sequence (CSS) mechanism to cope with the channel collision problem and to reduce message exchange overhead for switching channels. According to the state management, MCDA then controls directional antenna transmitting data on a selected channel to exploit the opportunities of spatial reuse, and to maintain fairness among communicating pairs. Simulation results show that the proposed MCDA protocol maintains the fairness and significantly improves bandwidth utilization and throughput.
Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing 69(10), pp.824-837