Implication of MAC frame aggregation on empirical wireless experimentation

Gautam Bhanage, Rajesh Mahindra, Ivan Seskar, Dipankar Raychaudhuri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Scopus citations


Wireless network emulator testbeds have become increasingly important for realistic, at-scale experimental evaluation of new network architectures and protocols. Typically, wireless network performance measurements are made at multiple layers of the wireless protocol stack, i.e. link layer, MAC layer and network layer. This study highlights the impact of layer 2 frame aggregation that is enabled by default in the software drivers for commodity wireless 802.11 devices while it is still not a part of the core 802.11 standard. Using experimental measurements, it is shown that this feature has an impact across a diverse set of wireless experiments and should be considered while comparing results. Measurements on the ORBIT testbed show that throughput measurements can vary up to a startling 25% for certain packet sizes and the variance in receiver side interframe delays can almost double if MAC aggregation and preset transmission opportunities are not taken into consideration. Further results for VoIP traffic show a deterioration in jitter of up to 8 times when coupled with MAC layer aggregation in 802.11.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGLOBECOM 2009 - 2009 IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference
StatePublished - 2009
Event2009 IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference, GLOBECOM 2009 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: Nov 30 2009Dec 4 2009

Publication series

NameGLOBECOM - IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference


Other2009 IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference, GLOBECOM 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • 802.11e
  • Fast-framing
  • Frame aggregation
  • Madwifi implementation
  • Txop


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