Date of Award


Degree Type



Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Xiong, Fuqin

Subject Headings

Software radio, Computer networks, Wireless communication systems


Due to the recent development of spectrally-efficient modulation schemes, IEEE 802.11 Wifi and IEEE 802.16 WiMax radios support wireless communication at multiple bit rates. While high-rate transmission allows delivering more information in less time, the corresponding performance improvement is less than expected due to the PHY- and MAC-layer overheads, imposed by the 802.11/16 standards. This is particularly true in wireless ad hoc networks as there exist rate-distance and rate-hop count tradeoffs. The concept of multi-rate margin is proposed in this thesis, which exploits the difference in communication characteristics at different rates and serves as the fundamental ingredient for an opportunistic transmission protocol, targeted to meliorate the ad hoc mobile wireless network performance. In this thesis, the multi-rate margin is analyzed with theoretical derivation, perceived with simulation result using MATLAB and observed through real world testing using USRP and GNU Radio, which is a recent implementation of Software Defined Radio