Leveraging 802.11n frame aggregation to enhance QoS and power consumption in Wi-Fi networks

Daniel Camps-Mur, Manil Dev Gomony, Xavier Pérez-Costa, Sebastià Sallent-Ribes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The Wi-Fi technology, driven by its tremendous success, is expanding into a wide variety of devices and applications. However, many of these new devices, like handheld devices, pose new challenges in terms of QoS and energy efficiency. In order to address these challenges, in this paper we study how the novel MAC aggregation mechanisms developed in the 802.11n standard can be used to enhance the current 802.11 QoS and power saving protocols. Our contribution is twofold. First, we present a simulation study that illustrates the interactions between 802.11n and the current 802.11 QoS and power saving protocols. This study reveals that the 802.11n MAC aggregation mechanisms perform better when combined with the power save mode included in the original 802.11 standard than with the 802.11e U-APSD protocol. Second, we design CA-DFA, an algorithm that, using only information available at layer two, adapts the amount of 802.11n aggregation used by a Wi-Fi station according to the level of congestion in the network. A detailed performance evaluation demonstrates the benefits of CA-DFA in terms of QoS, energy efficiency and network capacity with respect to state of the art alternatives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2896-2911
Number of pages16
JournalComputer Networks
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is partially supported by the Spanish ”Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación” under project TEC2010-20527-C02-01.

Funding Information:
Sebastià Sallent received a M.Sc. (1979) and a Ph.D. (1988) degree in Telecommunications Engineering at the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), in Barcelona, Spain. His research interests include resource optimization and scheduling, optical access communications, Internet architectures and traffic modeling. From 1979 to 1985 he was with Philips Company in Barcelona, Spain. Currently, he holds a position of full professor at UPC, where he leads the Broadband Networks research group within the Department of Telematics. He is also theDirector of the i2Cat Foundation, a non-profit organization for the promotion of IT in Catalonia, Spain. He has participated in several research projects, funded by the EU (Federica, Phosphorus, NOVI, Euro-NF, FIBRE) the Spanish government, and private companies. He is co-author of more than 100 publications. He has been a TPC in several conferences, and has served as a reviewer in several conferences and journals. He was the President of Spanish Telematic Association.


  • 802.11e
  • 802.11n
  • Aggregation
  • Energy efficiency
  • QoS
  • Wi-Fi


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