Spatial mean-field limits for CSMA networks

Fabio Cecchi, Sem C. Borst, Johan S.H. van Leeuwaarden, Philip A. Whiting

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Random-access algorithms such as the CSMA protocol provide a popular mechanism for distributed medium access control in large-scale wireless networks. Mean-field analysis has emerged as a convenient approach to obtain tractable performance estimates in such networks, but a critical limitation of the classical set-up is that all nodes are assumed to belong to a finite number of classes. We consider spatial mean-field limits which do not involve such a requirement, characterized in terms of a set of partial-differential equations, and in particular examine the fixed points of these equations for some specific network configurations. We discuss how the fixed points can be used to obtain estimates for key performance metrics, and present simulation experiments to demonstrate the accuracy of these estimates.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication55th Annual Allerton Conference on Communication, Control, and Computing, Allerton 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781538632666
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2018
Event55th Annual Allerton Conference on Communication, Control, and Computing - Monticello, United States
Duration: 3 Oct 20176 Oct 2017


Conference55th Annual Allerton Conference on Communication, Control, and Computing
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • CSMA
  • Mean-field analysis
  • Measure-valued Markov processes
  • Random-access networks


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