Quality of Service (QoS) and queue management are important issues for IEEE 802.11 systems. However, existing 2-dimensional (2-D) Markov chain models of 802.11 systems are unable to capture the complete QoS performance and queueing behavior due to the lack of an adequate finite buffer model. We present a 3-dimensional (3-D) Markov chain that integrates the 802.11 system contention resolution and queueing processes into one model. The 3rd dimension, that models the queue length, allows us to accurately capture important QoS measures, delay and loss, plus throughput and queue length, for realistic 802.11 systems with finite buffer under finite load. We derive an efficient method for solving the steady state probabilities of the Markov chain. Our 3-D Markov chain is the first finite buffer model defined and solved for 802.11 systems. The solutions, validated by extensive simulations, capture the system dynamics over a wide range of traffic load, buffer capacity, and network size. Our 3-D model points to the existence of an effective maximum throughput and shows its relationship with buffer capacity. We demonstrate that our 3-D model can also be used in resource allocation to determine adequate buffer sizes under a particular QoS constraint.
Bibliographical noteAn erratum for this article exists in IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, vol. 12, issue 10, p. 5374. DOI: 10.1109/TWC.2013.093013.131378
- IEEE 802.11
- multi-dimensional Markov chain
- queueing analysis