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Unformatted text preview: Characterizing User Behavior and Network Performance in a Public Wireless LAN Anand Balachandran Geoffrey M. Voelker Paramvir Bahl P. Venkat Rangan U. C., San Diego U. C., San Diego Microsoft Research U. C., San Diego 9500 Gilman Dr. 0114 9500 Gilman Dr. 0114 One Microsoft Way 9500 Gilman Dr. 0114 La Jolla, CA 92093 La Jolla, CA 92093 Redmond, WA 98052 La Jolla, CA 92093 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org ABSTRACT This paper presents and analyzes user behavior and network perfor- mance in a public-area wireless network using a workload captured at a well-attended ACM conference. The goals of our study are: (1) to extend our understanding of wireless user behavior and wireless network performance; (2) to characterize wireless users in terms of a parameterized model for use with analytic and simulation stud- ies involving wireless LAN traffic; and (3) to apply our workload analysis results to issues in wireless network deployment, such as capacity planning, and potential network optimizations, such as al- gorithms for load balancing across multiple access points (APs) in a wireless network. 1. INTRODUCTION Advances in communication technology and the proliferation of lightweight, hand-held devices with built-in, high-speed radio ac- cess are making wireless access to the Internet the common case rather than an exception. Wireless LAN installations based on IEEE 802.11  technology are emerging as an attractive solution for providing network connectivity in corporations and universi- ties, and in public places like conference venues, airports, shopping malls, etc. places where individuals spend a considerable amount of their time outside of home and work. In addition to the con- venience of untethered networking, contemporary wireless LANs provide relatively high data connectivity at 11 Mb/s and are easy to deploy in public settings. As part of a larger research project, we have been exploring issues in implementing and deploying public-area wireless networks, and exploring optimizations for improving their performance . In order to evaluate and validate the techniques that we are develop- ing, we consider it essential to use realistic workloads of user be- havior and wireless network performance to make design decisions and tradeoffs. However, since public wireless LANs have only re- cently become widely deployed, such workload characterizations are scarce. Initial studies of wireless networks have explored low- level error models and RF signal characteristics , installation and maintenance issues of a campus wireless network , user mobil- ity in a low-bandwidth metropolitan area network , and user behavior and traffic characteristics in a university department net- work  and, very recently, a college campus ....
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- Spring '08