Queuing with adaptive modulation and coding over wireless links: Cross-layer analysis and design

Qingwen Liu, Shengli Zhou, Georgios B Giannakis

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484 Scopus citations


Assuming there are always sufficient data waiting to be transmitted, adaptive modulation and coding (AMC) schemes at the physical layer have been traditionally designed separately from higher layers. However, this assumption is not always valid when queuing effects are taken into account at the data link layer. In this paper, we analyze the joint effects of finite-length queuing and AMC for transmissions over wireless links. We present a general analytical procedure, and derive the packet loss rate, the average throughput, and the average spectral efficiency (ASE) of AMC. Guided by our performance analysis, we introduce a cross-layer design, which optimizes the target packet error rate of AMC at the physical layer, to minimize thpacket loss rate and maximize the average throughput, when combined with a finite-length queue at the data link layer. Numerical results illustrate the dependence of system performance on various parameters, and quantify the performance gain due to cross-layer optimization. Our focus is on the single user case, but we also discuss briefly possible applications to multiuser scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1142-1153
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received June 20, 2003; revised November 11, 2003; accepted February 24, 2004. The editor coordinating the review of this paper and approving it for publication is M. Zorzi. This work was supportd in part by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory under the Collaborative Technology Alliance Program, Cooperative Agreement DAAD19-01-2-0011.The material in this paper was presented in part at the Military Communications Conference (MILCOM), Boston, MA, October 2003. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Army Research Laboratory or the U. S. Government. The U. S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon.


  • Adaptive modulation and coding (AMC)
  • Cross-layer design
  • Discrete time Markov chain
  • Quality of service (QoS)
  • Queuing analysis
  • Wireless networks


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