Impact of Background Scan on Current and Neighbouring Channels in 802.11 Networks

G. Singh(1*), A. P. Singh Atwal(2), B. S. Sohi(3)

(1) Department of Computer Science and Engineering, BBSBEC Fatehgarh Sahib, India
(2) Department of Computer Science and Engineering, BBSBEC Fatehgarh Sahib, India
(3) UIET, Panjab University, India
(*) Corresponding author

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Background scan process is widely used by IEEE 802.11 mobile nodes for discovering neighbouring access points and their channels, without breaking connectivity with the current access point. Background scan generates signaling traffic on the neighbouring channels in the form of probe request and probe response frames. Background scan operations also result in temporary disruption of communication with the current access point while mobile is away for background scan operation on some other channel. Aim of this paper is to experimentally investigate the impact of background scanning on the quality of traffic on current channel and also on neighbouring channels on which background scan is being performed.  Effects of background scan on traffic on current and neighbouring channels have been measured in terms of important quality of service parameters like jitter in packet Inter arrival time, packet delay, packet losses, retransmissions and TCP throughput. Results show that aggressive background scanning results in degradation in quality of service of traffic on both the current and the neighbouring channels.
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Background Scanning; IEEE 802.11; Quality of Service; Experimental Testbed

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