Optimal access point selection in multi-channel IEEE 80211 networks
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A wireless access point (WAP or AP) is a device that allows wireless communication devices to connect to a wireless local area network (WLAN). AP usually connects to a wired network, and can relay data between the wireless devices (such as computers or printers) and wired devices on the network. Optimal access point selection is a crucial problem in IEEE 802.11 WLAN networks. Access points (APs) cover a certain area and provides an adequate bandwidth to the users around them. When the area to be covered is large, several APs are necessary. Furthermore in order to mitigate the adverse effects of interference between APs, multi channels are used. In this thesis, a service area is divided into demand clusters (DCs) in which number of users per DC and average traffic rates are known. Next, we calculate the congestion of each AP by using the average traffic load. With our Optimal Access Point Selection Algorithm, we balance the traffic loads in APs using a mixed integer linear programming formulation. This algorithm guarantees that each DC is assigned an AP and there is sufficient received power. Furthermore, the interference between the adjacent APs is controlled so that the received signal to interference and noise ratio at each AP satisfies a minimum level. Interference control is accomplished by using a multi-channel WLAN. In this thesis, both orthogonal (non-overlapping) and non-orthogonal (overlapping) channel assignment schemes are considered. The total interference is computed taking into account both co-channel and inter-channel interferences. The developed AP selection methodology is applied to WLAN designs for several buildings. It is observed from the designated networks that a DC shouldnot need to connect to the closest AP but it may be connected to an AP which may be farther away but less congested. DCs are assigned to APs such that all DCs are covered. The effects of the parameter such as traffic load, receiver sensitivity, number of APs, etc are also studied.