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Does the 802.

11p MAC Method Provide Predictable


Support for Low Delay Communications?
Katrin Bilstrup†,§, Dr. Elisabeth Uhlemann†,‡, Prof. Dr. Erik G. Ström§,†, and
Dr. Urban Bilstrup†
†Centre for Research on Embedded Systems, Halmstad University, Sweden
‡Volvo Technology Corporation, Sweden
§Dep. of Signals and Systems, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

February 4-6, 2009


1st ETSI workshop on ITS
Sophia Antipolis, France

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Traffic Safety Systems
• Certain traffic safety applications require
low delay
– Implying direct vehicle-to-vehicle
communications
• Periodic heartbeat messages
– Delay sensitive
– Many emerging applications rely on these

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CSMA/CA of 802.11
• 802.11p will use CSMA/CA of 802.11 and the
QoS supplement of 802.11e
• Starts listening to the channel during one AIFS
– AIFS (in 802.11e)/DIFS (in 802.11)
• Arbitration/Distributed InterFrame Space
• Channel becomes busy during listening period
– Perform backoff by selecting a random number
– Decrement backoff only when channel is free

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CSMA/CA drawbacks
• Unpredictable channel access delay
– Periodic messages need to be sent within its time period
– The random backoff may cause a delay longer than the time
period
– Causes packet drops at sending node
• Collisions
– The random backoff time chosen are discrete and thus nodes
may choose the same
• For example in 802.11e highest priority – {0 µs, 9 µs, 18 µs, 27 µs}
– Two concurrently transmitting nodes may be located very close
together

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STDMA – a potential remedy?
• Self-organizing time division multiple access
(STDMA)
• Already in commercial use
– Automatic Identification System (AIS)
– VDL mode 4
• Specially designed for cooperative awareness
messages
• Predictable channel access delay
• Collisions scheduled to minimize interference

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STDMA
NI NI
….. …..
SI SI

Node 1 ….. …..


If all slots in SI
. are occupied
NTS NSS NS NTS
. we pinch a slot
. from the node
. NI NI NI NI
….. ….. situated
. SI SI SI furthest away
from us.
Node n ….. …..

NS NTS NSS NTS NS


NTS

NI=nominal increment, SI=selection interval, NSS/NS=nominal slot, NTS=transmission slot

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Simulator in Matlab
Data traffic model – time-driven position messages

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Parameter settings
• Data traffic model
– Transfer rate = 3 Mbps
– Packet size = 100, 300, 500 byte
– Heartbeat rate = 10 Hz
• Sensing range = 500, 1000 meter
• CSMA settings
– AIFS = 34 µs
– Backoff values: 0, 9, 18 or 27 µs
• STDMA settings
– Superframe size = 1 s
– No of slots = 3076 (100 byte), 1165 (300 byte), 718 (500 byte)

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CSMA/CA in 802.11p
Packet drops/
23%
Deadline miss ratio

Sensing range=1000 m
84% 52% Packet size = 500 byte
Report rate = 10 Hz
Approx. 230 nodes

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CSMA/CA in 802.11p
5%

22%
Sensing range=500 m
57% Packet size = 500 byte
Packet drops/ Report rate = 10 Hz
Deadline miss ratio Approx. 115 nodes

50% difference between


the worst and the best
node in the system

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STDMA: Channel Access Delay

• In STDMA a node
always gets channel
access regardless of
the network load
• The worst case is
equal to the best
case and all packets
are sent

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CSMA: Consecutive Packet Drops

• In the worst case a


node dropped 100
consecutive heartbeat Sensing range=1000
Heartbeat=10 Hz
messages, resulting in Packet length=500 byte
invisibility to the
environment during 10
seconds.

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CSMA/STDMA: The Minimum Distance
Between Two Transmitting Nodes

• With STDMA collisions


are known ahead and
thus occur in a more
structured way
• With STDMA nodes
located close to the
sender will have a higher
probability of receiving a
correct packet than in the
CSMA case.

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CSMA/CA summary
• Does not need synchronization
• Supports arbitrary packet sizes
• Not deterministic
– Unbounded channel access delays
• Collisions are random
– Resulting in higher probability of collisions
between transmitters close to each other

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STDMA summary
• Deterministic
– All channel access requests results in channel access
• Using already available position information
• Schedules the “collisions”
• Already in commercial use
• Inherent support for data traffic smoothing and
power control
• Needs synchronization
– no synchronization in STDMA results in CSMA/CA

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Conclusions
• Does the 802.11p MAC method provide predictable
support for low delay communications?
– No
• The difference between the best and the worst case in
CSMA/CA is 50%, i.e., the algorithm punishes certain
nodes
• Further investigations on the scalability issue of 802.11p
must be done
• In STDMA a user will always get channel access
regardless of the network load
• STDMA performs remarkably well for vehicular
communications thus providing a really interesting
alternative to CSMA/CA

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Thank you for your attention!

Questions?

Katrin.Bilstrup@hh.se

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