Dense 802.11 wireless networks present a pressing capacity challenge: users in proximity contend for limited unlicensed spectrum. Directional antennas promise increased capacity by improving the signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) at the receiver, potentially allowing successful decoding of packets at higher bit-rates. Many uses of directional antennas to date have directed high gain between two peers, thus maximizing the strength of the sender's signal reaching the receiver. But in an interference-rich environment, as in dense 802.11 deployments, directional antennas only truly come into their own when they explicitly null interference from competing concurrent senders. In this paper, we present Cone of Silence (CoS), a technique that leverages software-steerable directional antennas to improve the capacity of indoor 802.11 wireless networks by adaptively nulling interference. Using in situ signal strength measurements that account for the complex propagation environment, CoS derives custom antenna radiation patterns that maximize the strength of the signal arriving at an access point from a sender while nulling inteference from one or more concurrent interferers. CoS leverages multiple antennas, but requires only a single commodity 802.11 radio, thus avoiding the significant processing requirements of decoding multiple concurrent packets. Experiments in an indoor 802.11 deployment demonstrate that CoS improves throughput under interference.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Beam forming
- Beam steering
- Phased array