A Novel Approach for MAC and PHY Performance Analysis in Relay Networks in Presence of Interference and Shadow Fading

Bader A. Alkandari, Worcester Polytechnic Institute


Relays in communication networks is a well-researched topic. Historically, relays were used in analog radio and television to extend the coverage. Using relays in wireless data networking applications is a more recent problem. In the early 2000s, relays were introduced for Micro-cellular and Wi-Fi deployments. Recently it has been considered for sensor networks and Vehicular Ad-hoc Networks (VANETs) applications. In this dissertation we present a novel approach to determine the optimal bounds for the Medium Access Control (MAC) throughput at the target receiver in a multi-hop multi-rate wireless data network. For a given relationship between the throughput and the distance, and a given distance between the access point and the target receiver, there is a minimum number of nodes that provides the maximum throughput to the target receiver. It is always desirable to optimize the deployment from various aspects. These aspects are application-dependent and they range from energy conservation in sensor networks to throughput and coverage maximization in data networks. We apply this novel appoach to vehicular ad-hoc network (VANET) scenarios. Using multi-hop relays, we show how to determine the optimum throughput for communciation between two vehicles. The optimal number of relays is chosen to maximize the throughput for point-to-point communication between a source and a destination as well as broadcast among all vehicles in the coverage area of the source. Additionally, in the physical layer, performance issues arise from the effects of interference and fading. The physical layer performance will in turn impact medium access control performance, effectively reducing the network throughput. We evaluate the performance of dense small cells for wireless local area networks (WLAN) and femto cells for data applications under the effects of interference and fading. We assume the network is fully saturated. We use the throughput-distance relationship to take into consideration the effects of interference, fading as well as the medium access control overheads. Using this model, we show that under certain conditions, the medium access control throughput for WLANs can outperform that of femto cells.