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Bridging the Gap between Protocol and Physical Models for Wireless Networks

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4 Author(s)
Yi Shi ; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg ; Y. Thomas Hou ; Jia Liu ; Sastry Kompella

This paper tries to reconcile the tension between the physical model and the protocol model that have been used to characterize interference relationship in a multihop wireless network. The physical model (a.k.a. signal-to-interference-and-noise ratio model) is widely considered as a reference model for physical layer behavior but its application in multihop wireless networks is limited by its complexity. On the other hand, the protocol model (a.k.a. disk graph model) is simple but there have been doubts on its validity. This paper explores the following fundamental question: How to correctly use the protocol interference model? We show that, in general, solutions obtained under the protocol model may be infeasible and, thus, results based on blind use of protocol model can be misleading. We propose a new concept called "reality check” and present a method of using a protocol model with reality check for wireless networks. Subsequently, we show that by appropriate setting of the interference range in the protocol model, it is possible to narrow the solution gap between the two models. Our simulation results confirm that this gap is indeed small (or even negligible). Thus, our methodology of joint reality check and interference range setting retains the protocol model as a viable approach to analyze multihop wireless networks.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 7 )