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Survey of Routing Protocols and Channel Assignment protocols in Wireless Mesh Networks

Survey of Routing Protocols and Channel Assignment protocols in Wireless Mesh Networks

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Published by ijcsis
Abstract: This paper is a survey on wireless mesh networks. Here we mention the basics of wireless mesh network, their purpose, channel assignment techniques and routing protocols. This survey is prepared towards helping those working on the relationship between channel assignment and routing protocols.

Keywords: Wireless Mesh Networks, Routing protocols, Channel Assignment, Multi Hop, Multi Radio.
Abstract: This paper is a survey on wireless mesh networks. Here we mention the basics of wireless mesh network, their purpose, channel assignment techniques and routing protocols. This survey is prepared towards helping those working on the relationship between channel assignment and routing protocols.

Keywords: Wireless Mesh Networks, Routing protocols, Channel Assignment, Multi Hop, Multi Radio.

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Published by: ijcsis on Oct 10, 2010
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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 8, No. 6, September 2010
Abstract: This paper is a survey on wireless mesh networks.Here we mention the basics of wireless mesh network, theirpurpose, channel assignment techniques and routingprotocols. This survey is prepared towards helping thoseworking on the relationship between channel assignmentand routing protocols.Keywords: Wireless Mesh Networks, Routing protocols,Channel Assignment, Multi Hop, Multi Radio.I.
 
INTRODUCTIONA wireless mesh network (WMN)
[1]
is a communicationnetwork made up of radio nodes organized in a meshtopology. The nodes which constitute the WMN are inadhoc mode so as to realize mesh topology.Wireless mesh architecture is an effort towards providinghigh-bandwidth network over a specific coverage area.Wireless mesh architecture’s infrastructure is, in effect, arouter network minus the cabling between nodes. It's builtof peer radio devices that don't have to be cabled to awired port like traditional WLAN access points (AP) do.The traditional WLANs consist only of single hop end-toend connection (i.e., between the client and access point).In contrast, Mesh architecture sustains signal strength bybreaking long distances into a series of shorter hops.Intermediate nodes not only boost the signal, butcooperatively make forwarding decisions based on theirknowledge of the network, i.e. perform routing. Sucharchitecture may with careful design provide highbandwidth, spectral efficiency, and economic advantageover the coverage area.This paper is organized in the following sections.1.
 
Types of wireless mesh networks (network architectures).2.
 
Essential characteristics of WMN.3.
 
Components of WMN and their alternatives.4.
 
Routing purposes, problems and protocols.5.
 
Areas for research.II.
 
NETWORK ARCHITECTUREThe types of network structures being used for WMNs canbe classified into three types in a very broad sense.1.
 
Client wireless mesh networks2.
 
Infrastructure wireless mesh networks3.
 
Hybrid wireless mesh networks
[8]
.
 A.
 
Client WMN:
Client mesh networks or simply ad-hoc networks are formedby client devices with no supporting fixed infrastructure.Each node plays same role and participates in packetforwarding.
 B.
 
 Infrastructure WMN:
In contrast to client WMN, infrastructure WMN consists of routers and client devices. The routers are interconnectedvia wireless links to form a multi-hop backhaulinfrastructure. One or more routers are connected to thewired network and are called gateways of the WMN.Generally mesh router has two or more radio interfaces. Oneof which is an access interface for the clients to access thenetwork. The second radio interface is a relay interface forforwarding and routing data packets. This is basically usedfor inter-router communication. Client devices associatethemselves with the nearest mesh router to access thenetwork. They don’t participate in routing or relaying of packets. Therefore even if two clients are within the wirelessrange of each other, they cannot directly communicate. Ithas to happen through their respective routers.
C.
 
 Hybrid WMN 
[8]
:
This architecture is the combination of Infrastructure andclient meshing; clients can access the network throughmesh routers as well as by directly meshing with othermesh clients. A hybrid WMN is an extension to theInfrastructure WMN. In a hybrid WMN the clients notonly connect to the wireless backhaul, but also serve as agateway to for the clients which are located too far fromthe wireless mesh router. Therefore a hybrid WMN ismore robust and more scalable than the previous two. Awell-built hybrid WMN would enable fast, cheap and easydeployment of networks, leading to interestingapplications such as emergency networks.III.
 
ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF WMNWMN has mainly following essential characteristics:1.
 
Multihop and Multi-pathing: multiple pathsbetween two point in a WMN leads to the increasein bandwidth. This increase in the bandwidth isbecause the RTT (round trip time) for shorter paths(hops) is less than that of a single end to end path.Multiple packets can travel simultaneously
Survey of Routing Protocols and ChannelAssignment protocols in Wireless Mesh Networks
Vivek M Rathod, Suhas J Manangi, Satish E, Saumya Hegde{vivekmrathod, suhasjm, hsitash444, hegdesaumya}@gmail.comNational Institute of Technology Karnataka – Surathkal
72http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 8, No. 6, September 2010
between two ends. Multi-pathing strips the data tobe sent to a destination and sends these chunks viamultiple paths, which increases the throughputsignificantly. It also provides robustness to paths,because there is always an alternative unless thedestination itself is not connected to the network.2.
 
Self-healing, self-forming and self-organising:Since most of the nodes of the WMN are mobile,the WMN is always aware of its surroundings. Itdynamically changes the routing paths based on thecurrent state of the network. If a participating nodequits, the network is reconfigured so as to keep theremaining nodes connected. Similarly the dynamicchanges in the network must also take place basedon the network traffic at different routes.3.
 
Compatibility and interoperability: The WMNsbuilt on the IEEE 802.11 standards must be capableof supporting conventional Wi-Fi clients.4.
 
Cost Factor: WMNs can be very cost effectivebecause we can build and configure a WMN withminimal existing resources. A WMN could providean effective and good internet bandwidth to thegroup of users who share a single internet link.IV.
 
COMPONENTS OF WIRELESS MESHNETWORKSA WMN consists of two types of wireless nodes. MeshRouters and Mesh Clients. The Mesh Routers haveimproved computational, communication and powerresources as compared to Mesh Clients. Mesh Routers aregenerally static and form the multi-hop backhaul network with optional access to other auxiliary networks. In addition,Mesh Routers are also typically equipped with multiplewireless network interfaces (IEEE 802.11
[3]
) and aretherefore able to establish high capacity connections. Mesh
 
Clients are mobile devices, which take advantage of theexisting communication infrastructure provided by the MeshRouters.
 A.
 
1-Radio VS Multi-Radio Approaches:
In 1-radio approach the participating nodes have only oneradio each. Consider a network where both the clients andthe mesh routers have only one radio, and then meshrouters would not be able to listen to the backhaul and theclient simultaneously. Collisions would be very frequent.This will result in very low throughput. Thus one radioWMN is inferior to multi-radio infrastructure meshnetworks in Multihop situations. In the case of 1 radio adhoc mesh networks, available bandwidth is reduced by50% with each hop: bandwidth available at the 3rd hop is1/8 of the available capacity. However, while one-radio adhoc mesh networks are unsuitable for Multihop situations,they are useful in one-hop situations for quicklyestablishing p2p communications. Conversely, 2-radioinfrastructure meshes are ideal for Multihop situationswith no restriction on the number of hops. Thus One radiomobile client mesh network combined with two or moreradio routers’ backhaul support provides the best hybridWMN; ubiquitous connectivity but with multiple levels of redundancy built in.V.
 
MULTI RADIO MESH ROUTERThere are mainly 4 types of Multi Radio Mesh Routers:1.
 
Single unit mesh router2.
 
split wireless router3.
 
Multi-Channel Multi-Transceiver single radio4.
 
low cost mesh router construction
 A.
 
Single Unit Mesh Router:
Single unit mesh router is a single package with multipleradios in it. All these radios’ operate in non overlappingchannels. Some of these could be used to relay packetsbetween routers, while the others to provide connectivity tothe clients or client adhoc network. Even though the radiosoperate in non-overlapping channels, the practical resultshave shown that there is a significant amount of interferencebetween them due to the near-field effect, resulting inreduced throughput
 B.
 
Split Wireless Router:
Split mesh router is a network (wired) of two or moresingle radio routers. This design has gained motivationfrom the limitations of the single unit multi-radio routers.We refer to the single radio routers which are part of splitrouter as nodes hereafter.The commercially available single-radio routers oftenprovide multiple interface technologies like the Ethernet,fiber or ATM. Two or more such units are connected via abackhaul using one of the available interface options likethe Ethernet. Since the separation between these nodes isdetermined by the cable length forming the backhaul, theinterference can be significantly reduced by increasing thedistance between them. This is an effective solution forthe interference due to near-field effect in the single unitmesh router.Since our mesh router unit is a combination of 3-singleradio routers, we need a software abstraction by which theassembly appears like a single unit to the network. Eachsingle radio router must here be aware of the neighbors of the other two.
C.
 
 Multi-Channel Multi Transceiver Single Radio
[4]
:
In this kind of routers, a radio includes multiple parallel RFfront-end chips and baseband processing modules to supportseveral simultaneous channels. On top of the physical layer,only one MAC layer module is needed to coordinate thefunctions of multiple channels. So far no multi-channelmulti-transceiver MAC protocol has been proposed forWMNs.
 D.
 
 Low Cost Mesh Router Construction
A low cost router can be set up using two USB or PCI radiocards on a low-end computer. But this would also require aMAC layer which supports multiple NICs simultaneously.
73http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 8, No. 6, September 2010
VI.
 
CHANNEL ASSIGNMENT IN MULTI RADIOROUTERS
[2] [4]
 In case of a two radio router network, there is no muchflexibility, because one of the radios is used tocommunicate with other mesh routers on same channeland the other radio is used to communicate with clients.But if we have more than two radios on each mesh router,we could use one for communicating with clients and theother radios could be intelligently assigned differentchannels so that they form channel diversified routesamong mesh routers. Whether or not two routers areneighbors is decided by the channels assigned to them.The channel assignment can be made based on link qualityand the topology.There are various algorithms proposed for the channelassignment problem. They can be classified into twocategories;1.
 
Interference-aware channel assignment(IACA)2.
 
Traffic-aware channel assignment (TACA)Some of the algorithms are:
1.
 
Identical channel assignment
2.
 
Hybrid channel assignment
3.
 
Centralized channel assignment
4.
 
Maxflow based channel assignment routing(MCAR)
5.
 
Topology and interference-aware channelassignment (TIC)
 A.
 
 Identical Channel Assignment:
In this method first radio is assigned channel 1, second isassigned next non overlapping channel and so on. Thoughthis preserves connectivity, this method in no way makesany effort in reducing interference.
 B.
 
 Hybrid Channel Assignment:
In this strategy some radios are statically assigned channelswhile other radios are assigned channels dynamically.
C.
 
Centralized Channel Assignment:
In this method the links are visited in some order and acommon channel is assigned to interfaces on both the ends.If all the interfaces of the end node are already assigned achannel and they don’t share any common channel, then it isnecessary to replace one on the channel assignments. Thisends up in a recursive channel assignment procedure. Thevisit can be in the decreasing order of the number of linksfalling in the interference range and the least used channel inthat range is selected (interference aware). It could also bebased on the estimated link flow rates(traffic aware).Thealgorithm might then visit all the links in decreasing order of expected link flow rate and select the channel whichminimizes the sum of expected flow rates of all the links inthe interference region that are assigned the same channel.
 D.
 
 Maxflow Based Channel Assignment Routing:
MCAR is an improvement over centralized channelassignment algorithm. The interdependence among channelassignments across the whole network is taken into accountby first identifying the groups of links that need to beassigned the same channel in order for the number of different channels on every router not to exceed the numberof radios. Then, the actual channel assignment stage exploitsthe result of the first stage to assign channel in such a waythat no replacement of previously assignments arenecessary.
 E.
 
Topology and Interference aware Channel Assignment:
This algorithm undergoes two phases. One is Topologydiscovery and the other is channel selection.Topology discovery:Prior to the channel assignment thetopology is discovered. Topology discovery for everyrouter is the identification of band-specific set of neighboring routers and the measurement of quality of link to each of these neighbors. Each router tunes itself tovarious channels on which band topology is to bediscovered. This activity is co-ordinated by the channelmanagement server. The link quality is measured by ETT(estimated transmit time).Channel selection: Dijkstra's shortest path algorithm isused in TIC to discover frequency-diversified routesbetween the gateway and routers. The interferencebetween mesh links is generated using conflict-graphmodel. For generating the above model interfering meshlinks have to be identified in the first place. Thus the datagenerated in the first phase (topology discover) can beused to construct conflict graph. Thus the interfering linksare assigned non-overlapping channels.Cross-layer work:In most of the situation the throughputof configured WMN depends on both the channelassignment and routing algorithm chosen. So there is a lotof research in developing the cross-layer protocols whichdeals with the channel assignment and routing jointly.VII.
 
Routing Protocols
[9]
 Routing protocols lie at the heart of designing a WMNnetwork. They, in simple terms, specify the relay routes forpackets in the network. Most of the protocols neglect thetraffic between the mesh nodes and only consider thetraffic between the nodes and the internet.Network Asymmetry: This is the situation in whichforward direction of a network is significantly differentfrom the reverse direction in terms of bandwidth, loss rate,and latency. Forward path routing protocols are effectivein routing of the packets from the mesh nodes to thegateway of the WMN, backward routing protocols areeffective in routing the packets from the internet to themesh nodes.Some of the most popular protocols being used are AODVand OLSR.
74http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500

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