Wireless Multi Hop Access Networks and Protocols

University dissertation from Faculty of Engineering, LTH at Lund University

Abstract: As more and more applications and services in our society now depend on the Internet, it is important that dynamically deployed wireless multi hop networks are able to gain access to the Internet and other infrastructure networks and services. This thesis proposes and evaluates solutions for providing multi hop Internet Access. It investigates how ad hoc networks can be combined with wireless and mesh networks in order to create wireless multi hop access networks. When several access points to the Internet are available, and the mobile node roams to a new access point, the node has to make a decision when and how to change its point of attachment. The thesis describes how to consider the rapid fluctuations of the wireless medium, how to handle the fact that other nodes on the path to the access point are also mobile which results in frequent link and route breaks, and the impact the change of attachment has on already existing connections. Medium access and routing protocols have been developed that consider both the long term and the short term variations of a mobile wireless network. The long term variations consider the fact that as nodes are mobile, links will frequently break and new links appear and thus the network topology map is constantly redrawn. The short term variations consider the rapid fluctuations of the wireless channel caused by mobility and multi path propagation deviations. In order to achieve diversity forwarding, protocols are presented which consider the network topology and the state of the wireless channel when decisions about forwarding need to be made. The medium access protocols are able to perform multi dimensional fast link adaptation on a per packet level with forwarding considerations. This i ncludes power, rate, code and channel adaptation. This will enable the type of performance improvements that are of significant importance for the success of multi hop wireless networks.