Performance analysis of the IEEE 802.11 DCF in the presence of the hidden stations

Fu Yi Hung, Ivan Marsic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present an analytical model to evaluate the hidden station effect on the performance of the IEEE 802.11 Distributed Coordination Function (DCF) in both non-saturation and saturation condition. DCF is a random channel-access scheme based on Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA) method and the exponential backoff procedure. DCF is widely used and can support both wireless network with an access point and ad hoc wireless network because of its random channel-access method. On the other hand, this method unavoidably suffers the hidden station effect that causes significant performance degradation. As shown in this paper, hidden stations occur frequently in real-world settings, and the performance impact on the 802.11 DCF is a significant concern, but it has not been adequately studied. We study this problem through a spatial-temporal analysis and a Markov chain model. Our model generalizes the existing work on the performance modeling of 802.11 DCF for both non-saturation and saturation conditions. The scenario of no hidden station can be considered as a special case in our model. The performance of our model is evaluated by comparison with ns-2 simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2674-2687
Number of pages14
JournalComputer Networks
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • Analytical modeling
  • Hidden stations
  • IEEE 802.11
  • Medium Access Control
  • Performance evaluation

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