SQ-CSMA : universally lowering the delay of queue-based CSMA/CA



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Recent works show that, by incorporating queue length information, CSMA/CA multiple access protocols can achieve maximum throughput in general ad-hoc wireless networks. In all of these protocols, the aggressiveness with which a link attempts to grab the channel is governed solely by its own queue, and is independent of the queues of other interfering links. While this independence allows for minimal control signaling, it results in schedules that change very slowly. This causes starvation and delays - especially at moderate to high loads. In this work we add a very small amount of signaling - an occasional few bits between interfering links. These bits allow us a new functionality: switching - a link can now turn off its interfering links with a certain probability. The challenge is ensuring maximum throughput and lower delay via the use of this new functionality. We develop a new protocol - Switch-enabled Queue-based CSMA (SQ-CSMA) - that uses switching to achieve both of these objectives. This simple additional functionality, and our protocol to leverage it, can be “added on'' to every existing CSMA/CA protocol that uses queue lengths. Interestingly, we see that in every case it has a significant positive impact on delay, universally furthering the performance of existing protocols.