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SAND: Sectored-Antenna Neighbor Discovery Protocol for Wireless Networks

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7 Author(s)
Emad Felemban ; Comput. Eng. Dept., Umm Al Qura Univ., Makkah, Saudi Arabia ; Robert Murawski ; Eylem Ekici ; Sangjoon Park
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Directional antennas offer many potential advantages for wireless networks such as increased network capacity, extended transmission range and reduced energy consumption. Exploiting these advantages, however, requires new protocols and mechanisms at various communication layers to intelligently control the directional antenna system. With directional antennas, many trivial mechanisms, such as neighbor discovery, become more challenging since communicating parties must agree on where and when to point their directional beams to enable communication. In this paper, we propose a fully directional neighbor discovery protocol called Sectored-Antenna Neighbor Discovery (SAND) protocol. SAND is designed for sectored-antennas, a low-cost and simple realization of directional antennas, that utilize multiple limited beamwidth antennas. Unlike many proposed directional neighbor discovery protocols, SAND depends neither on omnidirectional antennas nor on time synchronization. In addition, SAND performs neighbor discovery in a serialized fashion allowing individual nodes to discover all potential neighbors within a predetermined time. Moreover, SAND guarantees the discovery of the best sector combination on both communication ends allowing more robust and higher reliability links. Finally, SAND gathers the neighborhood information in a centralized location, if needed, to be used by centralized networking protocols. The effectiveness of SAND has been assessed via simulation studies and real hardware implementation.

Published in:

2010 7th Annual IEEE Communications Society Conference on Sensor, Mesh and Ad Hoc Communications and Networks (SECON)

Date of Conference:

21-25 June 2010