Mean Field Markov Models of Wireless Local Area Networks
2010, v.16, Issue 2, 295-328
In 1998, Giuseppe Bianchi introduced a mean field Markov model of the fundamental medium access control protocol used in Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs). Due to the model's intuitive appeal and the accuracy of its predictions, since then there has been a vast body of material published that extends and analyzes models of a similar character. As the majority of this development has taken place within the culture and nomenclature of the telecommunications community, the aim of the present article is to review this work in a way that makes it accessible to probabilists. In doing so, we hope to illustrate why this modeling approach has proved so popular, to explain what is known rigorously, and to draw attention to outstanding questions of a mathematical nature whose solution would be of interest to the telecommunications community. For non-saturated WLANs, these questions include rigorous support for its fundamental decoupling approximation, determination of the properties of the self-consistent equations and the identification of the queueing stability region.
Keywords: wireless local area networks,mean field models,Markov chains