Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Electronic Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Martin Klepal

Second Advisor

Dr. Dirk Pesch


The recent dramatic trend towards always-on-connectivity has driven the need for mobile ubiquitous computing environments with the advent of the Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) seeing a shift from traditional wired networks to wireless networking. A WLAN typically contains a number of access points that allow wireless enabled clients access information and network resources such as the internet without the need for wires, offering flexibility and mobility to the users. Initial wireless networks were convenience based allowing users access to the primary wired network, and involved little planning prior to roll-out. The proliferation of low cost wireless devices combined wdth more advanced high data rate services such as voice and video over WLAN has stimulated large wireless deployments across many industry sectors. Given the wide spread usage of multimedia applications and their associated high bandwidth and time critical constraints the need for robust and reliable wireless networks is critical in satisfying the throughput needs of network users where the concept of a network being merely for lowly data transfer is long outdated. Apt design and implementation are the first necessary steps to enable the transition from convenience-driven deployments with low usage requirements to the critical business asset that WLAN is fast becoming.

The complex nature of WLAN design has led many of the deployments being done in an ad-hoc fashion without efficient design methodologies. Although this approach may work for a small environment with a small number of access points, it is infeasible to use such a process when designing a larger wireless infrastructure. The lack of planning has motivated much research into the investigation of formal optimisation techniques for the accurate design of a WLAN. Unfortunately the approaches taken do not address one major issue when designing a complex and demanding wireless network infrastructure, namely scalability. An optimisation algorithm must consider a multitude of design criteria and therefore needs to be scalable to be successfully applied to large scenarios. The main contribution of the work presented in this thesis is the development of a scalable optimisation algorithm based on the tools of distributed AI, which overcomes the failings of current approaches and can be utilised for WLAN design regardless of size or complexity of site specific requirements.

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