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MAC layer multicast error control for IPTV in wireless LANs

Publication by Zhao Li, Thorsten Herfet
Published in IEEE Transactions on Broadcasting, 2009


Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) over IEEE 802.11 Wireless LANs, which are considered today as the de-facto wireless access network for local distribution (home networks, hotspots), brings forth a big challenge to guarantee high quality multicast/broadcast delivery over unreliable and time-variant wireless channels. However, in IEEE 802.11 Wireless LANs, current standard MAC layer protocols do not provide any error correction scheme for broadcast/multicast. In our previous work, we enhanced a Leader Based Protocol (LBP) and proposed a Beacon-driven Leader Based Protocol (BLBP) for the MAC layer multicast error control. However, as pure Automatic Repeat reQuest (ARQ) schemes, both LBP and BLBP are not efficient for large multicast groups. In this paper, we combine BLBP and packet level Forward Error Correction (FEC) and propose a Hybrid Leader Based Protocol (HLBP) for the MAC layer multicast error control. HLBP transmits the original data packets using raw broadcast and retransmits parity packets using an improved BLBP which is based on block feedback. To guarantee the required Packet Loss Ratio (PLR) under strict delay constraints for multicast delivery over a Gilbert-Elliott (GE) channel, we analyze LBP, BLBP and HLBP, develop analytic performance models that allow optimizing the configurations. The performance models are verified via simulation experiments. Both the theoretical analysis and simulation results show that HLBP is much more efficient than LBP and BLBP especially for large multicast groups and is also more efficient than the best application layer multicast error correction scheme. BLBP needs the minimum number of redundancy transmissions among all pure ARQ based schemes while HLBP needs the near-minimum number of redundancy transmissions among all schemes. Due to the simplicity and efficiency, BLBP is a good choice for IPTV multicast delivery for small groups in Wireless LANs while HLBP is a better choice for large multicast groups.