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Most limitations in mechanisms geared at achieving quality-of-service (QoS) in wireless ad hoc networking can be traced to solutions based on mapping wireless networks to a wireline paradigm of nodes and links. We contend that this paradigm is not appropriate since links are not physical entities and do not accurately represent the radio frequency (RF) media. Using the link abstraction makes arbitration of the use of the RF media cumbersome leaving only overprovisioning techniques to deliver QoS. In this paper, we argue that an appropriate paradigm should match the physics of the network. The critical resource is electromagnetic spectrum in a space; in turn, this results in a complex paradigm since the part of the spectrum-space that each node wants to use is unique to that node and its destination and will overlap with parts that other nodes may want to use creating interdependences among nodes. This paper describes protocol approaches for access and routing that seek solutions within this wireless paradigm. Access is arbitrated using synchronous signaling and topology is resolved through the dissemination of node states. This approach provides an intuitive framework that provides mechanisms that can be exploited to arbitrate RF media use and implement traffic engineering techniques to deliver QoS. Our proposed approach provides a novel way of tracking the state of the network that can serve as a unified state dissemination mechanism to simultaneously support routing, multicasting, and most QoS heuristics.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2004