Skip to Main Content
Compared to single-hop networks such as WiFi, multihop infrastructure wireless mesh networks (WMNs) can potentially embrace the broadcast benefits of a wireless medium in a more flexible manner. Rather than being point-to-point, links in the WMNs may originate from a single node and reach more than one other node. Nodes located farther than a one-hop distance and overhearing such transmissions may opportunistically help relay packets for previous hops. This phenomenon is called opportunistic overhearing/listening. With multiple radios, a node can also improve its capacity by transmitting over multiple radios simultaneously using orthogonal channels. Capitalizing on these potential advantages requires effective routing and efficient mapping of channels to radios (channel assignment (CA)). While efficient channel assignment can greatly reduce interference from nearby transmitters, effective routing can potentially relieve congestion on paths to the infrastructure. Routing, however, requires that only packets pertaining to a particular connection be routed on a predetermined route. Random network coding (RNC) breaks this constraint by allowing nodes to randomly mix packets overheard so far before forwarding. A relay node thus only needs to know how many packets, and not which packets, it should send. We mathematically formulate the joint problem of random network coding, channel assignment, and broadcast link scheduling, taking into account opportunistic overhearing, the interference constraints, the coding constraints, the number of orthogonal channels, the number of radios per node, and fairness among unicast connections. Based on this formulation, we develop a suboptimal, auction-based solution for overall network throughput optimization. Performance evaluation results show that our algorithm can effectively exploit multiple radios and channels and can cope with fairness issues arising from auctions. Our algorithm also shows promising gains over traditional routing- solutions in which various channel assignment strategies are used.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2013