Joint Spatial Multiplexing and Transmit Diversity in MIMO Ad Hoc Networks

Fadhil Firyaguna, Ana C. O. Christófaro, Éverton A. L. Andrade, Tiago Bonfim, Marcelo M. Carvalho

This paper investigates the performance of MIMO ad hoc networks that employ transmit diversity, as delivered by the Alamouti scheme, and/or spatial multiplexing, according to the Vertical Bell Labs Layered Space-Time system (V-BLAST). Both techniques are implemented in a discrete-event network simulator by focusing on their overall effect on the resulting signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) at the intended receiver. Unlike previous works that have studied fully-connected scenarios or have assumed simple abstractions to represent MIMO behavior, this paper evaluates MIMO ad hoc networks that are not fully connected by taking into account the effects of multiple antennas on the clear channel assessment (CCA) mechanism of CSMA-like medium access control (MAC) protocols. In addition to presenting a performance evaluation of ad hoc networks operating according to each individual MIMO scheme, this paper proposes simple modifications to the IEEE 802.11 DCF MAC to allow the joint operation of both MIMO techniques. Hence, each pair of nodes is allowed to select the best MIMO configuration for the impending data transfer. The joint operation is based on three operation modes that are selected based on the estimated SINR at the intended receiver and its comparision with a set of threshold values. The performance of ad hoc networks operating with the joint MIMO scheme is compared with their operation using each individual MIMO scheme and the standard SISO IEEE 802.11. Performance results are presented based on MAC-level throughput per node, delay, and fairness under saturated traffic conditions.

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