Cross-layer Framework for Fine-grained Channel Access in Next Generation High-density WiFi Networks

Haitao Zhao, Shaojie Zhang, Francisco Garcia-Palacios

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Densely deployed WiFi networks will play a crucial role in providing the capacity for next generation mobile internet. However, due to increasing interference, overlapped channels in WiFi networks and throughput efficiency degradation, densely deployed WiFi networks is not a guarantee to obtain higher throughput. An emergent challenge is how to efficiently utilize scarce spectrum resources, by matching physical layer resources to traffic demand. In this aspect, access control allocation strategies play a pivotal role but remain too coarse-grained. As a solution, this research proposes a flexible framework for fine-grained channel width adaptation and multi-channel access in WiFi networks. This approach, named SFCA (Sub-carrier Fine-grained Channel Access), adopts DOFDM (Discontinuous Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) at the PHY layer. It allocates the frequency resource with a sub-carrier granularity, which facilitates the channel width adaptation for multi-channel access and thus brings more flexibility and higher frequency efficiency. The MAC layer uses a frequency-time domain backoff scheme, which combines the popular time-domain BEB scheme with a frequency-domain backoff to decrease access collision, resulting in higher access probability for the contending nodes. SFCA is compared with FICA (an established access scheme) showing significant outperformance. Finally we present results for next generation 802.11ac WiFi networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-67
Number of pages13
JournalChina Communications (IEEE)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • Multi-channel access
  • WiFi
  • High-density WiFi


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