MIMO ad hoc networks: Medium access control, saturation throughput, and optimal hop distance

Ming Hu, Junshan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


In this paper, we explore the utility of recently discovered multiple-antenna techniques (namely MIMO techniques) for medium access control (MAC) design and routing in mobile ad hoc networks. Specifically, we focus on ad hoc networks where the spatial diversity technique is used to combat fading and achieve robustness in the presence of user mobility. We first examine the impact of spatial diversity on the MAC design, and devise a MIMO MAC protocol accordingly. We then develop analytical methods to characterize the corresponding saturation throughput for MIMO multi-hop networks. Building on the throughout analysis, we study the impact of MIMO MAC on routing. We characterize the optimal hop distance that minimizes the end-to-end delay in a large network. For completeness, we also study MAC design using directional antennas for the case where the channel has a strong line of sight (LOS) component. Our results show that the spatial diversity technique and the directional antenna technique can enhance the performance of mobile ad hoc networks significantly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-330
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Communications and Networks
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Ad hoc networks
  • Hop distance
  • MIMO
  • Medium access control
  • Saturation throughput
  • Spatial diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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