Conference paper

Distributed Spectrum Assignment for Home WLANs

We consider the problem of jointly allocating chan- nel center frequencies and bandwidths for IEEE 802.11 wireless LANs (WLANs). The bandwidth used on a link affects sig- nificantly both the capacity experienced on this link and the interference produced on neighboring links. Therefore, when jointly assigning both center frequencies and channel widths, there is a trade-off between interference mitigation and the potential capacity offered on each link. We study this trade- off and we present SAW (spectrum assignment for WLANs), a decentralized algorithm that finds efficient configurations. SAW is tailored for 802.11 home networks. It is distributed, online and transparent. It does not require a central coordinator and it constantly adapts the spectrum usage without disrupting network traffic. A key feature of SAW is that the access points (APs) need only a few out-of-band measurements in order to make spectrum allocation decisions. Despite being completely decentralized, the algorithm is self-organizing and provably converges towards efficient spectrum allocations. We evaluate SAW using both simulation and a deployment on an indoor testbed composed of off-the-shelf 802.11 hardware. We observe that it dramatically increases the overall network efficiency and fairness.

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