Axiomatic Design is a technique that has been applied to multiple disciplines for enabling design, analysis, and troubleshooting of complex systems. In this paper, the principles of Axiomatic Design are applied to Wi-Fi networking. Wi-Fi is the information backbone for numerous applications, including Internet connectivity, video surveillance, data collection and inventory tracking in manufacturing and warehouse environments, patient location and health status monitoring in assisted living and hospital environments, along with numerous others. A Wi-Fi system consists of multiple access points working in tandem to provide seamless, high-speed, and high-quality wireless coverage to one or more wireless client devices. To implement such a network effectively, the Wi-Fi engineer must understand and control the interactions between multiple engineering disciplines, most notably information technology, network engineering, radio frequency physics, antenna design, and materials science. Technology development in this field is fast-paced, with new standards and capabilities being introduced into the market every couple of years. Additionally, the customer expectations (i.e. requirements) are changing as well once the Wi-Fi network is installed, as data demands from new types of devices like smartphones, tablets, and network appliances are introduced long after the original network was implemented.
This paper shows that there are three primary functional requirements for a Wi-Fi network, namely client usage type, coverage area, and client capacity. When designing, implementing, or troubleshooting a Wi-Fi network, there are four primary design parameters that can be controlled, namely AP antenna / model, location, channel, and transmission power. Axiomatic Design demonstrates that these four design parameters are coupled, and thus cannot be manipulated independently. Nevertheless, by effectively implementing Axiomatic Design techniques to define a set of best practices, these four key parameters can be decoupled and properly linked back to the requirements and constraints of the system to simplify the design, implementation, and troubleshooting of a Wi-Fi network.