Arango, Jesus and Faulkner, Matthew and Pink, Stephen (2009) Compressing MAC Headers on Shared Wireless Media. In: Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering. Springer. ISBN 3-642-11722-8
This paper presents a header compression algorithm that unlike previous protocols is capable of compressing MAC headers in a multiple-access (shared) channel. Previous schemes could not compress MAC headers because the address fields are needed to identify the intended destination as well as the intended context space under which compressed headers are to be interpreted. We approach this problem by sharing a single context space among participating nodes. The compression context for a new flow between two nodes is initialized and synchronized by transmitting an uncompressed frame with a context label that is randomly selected by the sender. Frames with compressed MAC headers will have no address fields. A receiving node that has a context which matches the label in a compressed frame will be able to decompress the header by expanding the label into the corresponding fields stored in the context. Mechanisms are presented to address label conflicts where a node is receiving compressed frames with the same label from multiple senders. We evaluate our work by simulating an 802.11 network that implements the header compression algorithm. The simulation results show that when MAC headers are compressed there is throughput improvement of up to 15% in the experiments we conducted. This is in addition to the throughput improvement achieved by compressing IP, TCP, UDP and higher level headers.
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