Transmission Rate Sampling and Selection for Reliable Wireless Multicast


The multicast communication concept offers a scalable and efficient method for many classes of applications; however, its potential remains largely unexploited when it comes to link-layer multicasting in wireless local area networks. The fundamental lacking feature for this is a transmission rate control mechanism that offers higher transmission performance and lower channel utilization, while ensuring the reliability of wireless multicast transmissions. This is much harder to achieve in a scalable manner for multicast when compared with unicast transmissions, which employs explicit acknowledgment mechanisms for rate control. This article introduces EWRiM, a reliable multicast transmission rate control protocol for IEEE 802.11 networks. It adapts the transmission rate sampling concept to multicast through an aggregated receiver feedback scheme and combines it with a sliding-window forward error correction (FEC) mechanism for ensuring reliability at the link layer. An inherent novelty of EWRiM is the close interaction of its FEC and transmission rate selection components to address the performance{reliability tradeoff in multicast communications. The performance of EWRiM was tested in three scenarios with intrinsically different traffic patterns; namely, music streaming scenario, large data frame delivery scenario, and an IoT scenario with frequent distribution of small data packets. Evaluation results demonstrate that the proposed approach adapts well to all of these realistic multicast traffic scenarios and provides significant improvements over the legacy multicast and unicast based transmissions.

Thomas Geithner, Fikret Sivrikaya
Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing