Delay-sensitive communication over wireless multihop channels



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Wireless systems of today face the dual challenge of both supporting large traffic flows and providing reliable quality of service to different delay-sensitive applications. For such applications, it is essential to derive meaningful performance measures such as queue-length distribution and packet loss probability, while providing service guarantees. The concepts of effective bandwidth and effective capacity offer a powerful cross-layer approach that provides suitable performance metrics for the bandwidth and capacity of wireless channels supporting delay-sensitive traffic. Many wireless systems rely on multihop forwarding to reach destinations outside the direct range of the source. This work extends part of the methodology available for the design of wireless systems to the multihop paradigm. It describes the analysis of a communication system with two hops using this cross-layer approach. A framework is developed to study the interplay between the allocation of physical resources across the wireless hops and overall service quality as defined by a queueing criterion based on large deviations. Decoupling techniques introduce simple ways of analyzing the queues independently. Numerical analysis helps identify fundamental performance limits for Rayleigh block fading wireless channel models with independent and identically distributed blocks. Simulation studies present comparable results akin to that obtained using the analytical framework. These results suggest that it is imperative to account for queueing aspects while analyzing delay-sensitive wireless communication systems.