Quality of service provisioning in IEEE 802.11e wireless local multimedia networks
The fast growth of Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) during the last decade, has led to their wide acceptance by the vast majority of electronic equipment users as the dominant wireless networking technology. The indisputable functionality standard of WLANs is the IEEE 802.11. At the same time, multimedia applications technology has received a similar success. It was, therefore, an expected result that the users of both technologies required that multimedia applications were adequately supported by the wireless infrastructure. Towards this direction, the IEEE has published a series of amendments to the initial WLAN standard. The widely accepted amendment for supporting multimedia in WLANs is the IEEE 802.11e. This specification defined the functionality of a new Medium Access Control (MAC), capable of providing Quality of Service (QoS) to applications with high demands from the network.However, the IEEE 802.11 has received negative reviews regarding its capability of multimedia support in highly congested wireless networks. These conditions are quite common, especially in infrastructure networks with large numbers of users (e.g., public hotspots, university networks etc.). As a response to this challenge, the international scientific community, has designed and proposed various enhancements mechanisms to improve the IEEE 802.11e functionality in high load situations.This thesis contributes to this international effort of QoS provisioning in multimedia WLANs, by developing and assessing a novel mechanism which combines, adapts and enforces the characteristics and the design techniques that have been proposed in the international bibliography, into an integrated architecture. The efficiency of the mechanism is evaluated and compared to other implementations, and the related experimental results are proven to be very promising.