Effects of Interference on Wireless Mesh Networks: Pathologies and a Preliminary Solution

–We highlight two fundamental problems that

degrade the throughput of wireless mesh networks today.

First, severe performance degradation can occur when

sources send more traffic than what the network can support. The degradation can be sharp even in a simple

setting of a single flow that traverses a network of two

links. Second, current routing protocols fail to identify

high throughput routing paths even when they exist. The

underlying culprit in both cases is interference that is fundamental to wireless networks.

As a first step towards a solution, we develop a novel

approach to systematically account for and control interference in the network. Our approach uses (an approximation of) a formal model of interference to estimate the

maximum rate at which flows can safely send traffic without overloading the network. Simulation and testbed experiments show that it can improve network throughput

by as much as 50-100% in some configurations.

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Publisher  Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.
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