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Enhancing the Spatial Reusability Offered by Smart Beamforming Antennas in Multi-hop Wireless Networks

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posted on 23.05.2021, 18:54 by Osama Bazan
The increasing use of multi-hop wireless networks and the growing demand of bandwidth-intensive multimedia applications are the driving force to explore innovative techniques that can enhance the capacity of multi-hop wireless networks. The commonly used omni-directional antennas limit the spatial reusability of the wireless channel and hence reduce the available capacity of wireless networks. On the contrary, bandforming antennas, that enable directional transmissions and receptions, can overcome the aforementioned limitation. With the recent advances in signed processing and antenna technologies, smart beamforming antennas have become feasible in compact sizes and suitable prices and hence pertinent to multi-hop wireless networks. However, lack of appropriate control over the antenna beamforming may deteriorate the overall performance even below the level achieved by omni-directional antennas. Moreover, beamforming antennas introduce unprecedented challenges including deafness and directional hidden terminal problems. Hence, it is important to design efficient mechanisms for both Medium Access Control (MAC) and routing to deal with these challenges that hinder the full exploitation of spatial reusability offered by smart beamforming antennas. In this dissertation, we develop an analytical framework for modeling directional contention-based MAC protocols, which is, up to our knowledge, the first model to include deafness in the analysis. We show that deafness can severely limit the network capacity. Based on the insights gained from our analysis of the limitations of the existing solutions, we propose a novel opportunistic directional MAC protocol for multi-hop wireless networks with beamforming antennas. The proposed MAC protocol employs a new backoff mechanism that aims at minimizing the unnecessary idle waiting time, which is a key factor in leveraging the spatial reuse. Through extensive simulations, we demonstrate that the proposed MAC protocol enhances the performance in terms of throughput, delay, packet delivery ratio and fairness. We have also addressed the question about the theoretical capacity gain achieved by beamforming antennas. We derive a generic interference model that can accommodate any antenna radiation pattern and show that the capacity gain is significant even when realistic antenna radiation patterns are used. Since smart beamforming antennas can significantly spare the network resources, they can be utilized to provide Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees. We study the bandwidth-guaranteed routing problem in contention-based multi-hop wireless networks with beamforming antennas. We first present an analysis for the wireless links interdependencies in a contention-based environment in the presence of beamforming, which helps in our formulation of the QoS routing problem as a mixed-integer non-linear optimization problem. We then propose a routing and admission control algorithm for its solution. Our simulation results demonstrate the accuracy of our analysis and the ability of our proposed algorithm to find bandwidth-guaranteed routes. In summary, the analysis and design approaches, adopted in this dissertation, enhance the throughput of multi-hop wireless networks by grasping the transmission opportunities offered by smart beamforming antennas while dealing with the beamforming-related challenges at the MAC and network layers, which otherwise limit the spatial reusability of the wireless channel.





Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


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Electrical and Computer Engineering (Theses)