Multimedia transport in multihop wireless networks

Multimedia transport in multihop wireless networks

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Traditionally, multihop wireless networks focus on datagram and mobility services. The packet radio network (PRNET), for example, was a very important contribution in that it provided a conceptually simple, distributed, reliable, totally asynchronous solution to the problem. PRNET handled datagram traffic reasonably well, but did not offer efficient multimedia support. Recently, several mobile, multimedia, multihop (M3) wireless network architectures have been developed, which assume some form of synchronous, time division infrastructure. The synchronous time frame leads to efficient multimedia support implementations. However, it introduces more complexity and is less robust in the face of mobility and channel fading. The author examines the impact of synchronisation on wireless M3 network performance. First, he introduces MACA/PR, an asynchronous network based on the collision avoidance MAC scheme employed in the IEEE 802.11 standard. Then, he evaluates and compares several wireless packet networks ranging from the total asynchronous PRNET to the synchronised cluster TDMA network. He examines the tradeoffs between time synchronisation and performance in various traffic and mobility environments.


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