Sociality-aware access point selection in enterprise wireless LANs

Guangtao Xue, Qi He, Hongzi Zhu, Tian He, Yunhuai Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Well-balanced workload among wireless access points (APs) in a wireless local-area network (WLAN) can improve the user experience for accessing the Internet. Most load balancing solutions in WLANs focuses on the optimization of AP operations, assuming that the arrivals and departures of users are independent. However, through the analysis of AP usage based on a real WLAN trace of one-month collected at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), we find that such an assumption does not hold. In fact, due to users' social activities which is particularly time for enterprise environments, they tend to arrive or leave in unison, which would disruptively affect the load balance among APs. In this paper, we propose a novel AP allocation scheme to tackle the load balancing problem in WLANs, taking into account the social relationships of users. In this scheme, users with intense social relationships are assigned to different APs so that jointly departure of those users would have minor impact on the load balance of APs. Given that the problem of allocating an AP for each user so that the average of the sums of social relation intensity between any pair of users in each AP is NP-complete, we propose an online greedy algorithm. Extensive trace-driven simulations demonstrate the efficacy of our scheme. Comparing to the state-of-the-art method, we can achieve about 64.7 percent balancing performance gain on average during peak hours in workdays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6336744
Pages (from-to)2069-2078
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2013


  • Enterprise Wireless LANs
  • IEEE 802.11
  • load balance
  • social relation analysis


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