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Evaluation of mesh routing protocols for wireless community networks

Authors: Axel Neumann, Ester López, Leandro Navarro

Status: published as A.Neumann et al., Evaluation of mesh routing protocols for wireless community networks, Computer Networks (2015), local copy

In recent years we have witnessed an exponential growth of wireless community networks as a response to the clear necessity of Internet access for participation in society. For wireless mesh networks that can scale to up to thousands of nodes, owned and managed in a decentralized way, it is imperative for its survival to provide the network with self-management mechanisms that reduce the requirements of human intervention and technological knowledge in the operation of a community network. In this paper we focus on one important self-management mechanism, routing, and we study the scalability, performance and stability of three proactive mesh routing protocols: BMX6, OLSR and Babel.
We study different metrics on an emulation framework and on the W-ILab.T testbed at iMinds, making the most of the two worlds: emulation allows us to have more control over the topology and repeat more systematically the experiments; whereas a testbed provides a realistic wireless medium and more reliable measurements, specially in terms of interference and CPU consumption.
Results show the relative merits, costs and limitations of the three protocols.