Wireless Mesh Network

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Definition and Overview

A Wireless Mesh Network (WMN) is a multi-hop wireless network. Usually, WMNs consist of Mesh Routers (MR), Mesh Clients (MC), and Gateways (GW). Mesh Routers and Gateways form the infrastructure of the network and provide access to the Mesh Clients which are often laptops, cellphones, PDAs and other devices. Often the Mesh Routers are assumed to be fixed and non mobile but this is not always the case. The Mesh Routers are also often assumed to have access to greater resources (CPU, Memory) than MCs. These characteristics separate a WMN from a mobile ad hoc network (MANET). In a MANET, all nodes are generally limited by battery life, CPU and Memory resulting in protocols and algorithms which are tailored to conserving these resources. In a WMN, the MRs can be taken advantage of when designing protocols that have greater performance.

In a WMN, the MRs and GWs form a mesh structure. This structure allows redundancy which can be exploited in order to provide greater throughput or enhanced reliability compared with solutions such as wireless local area networks (WLAN).

Areas of Research / Open Problems

  • Scheduling, Load Balancing & Resource Allocation
  • Hidden Node Problem
  • Exposed Node Problem
  • Security
  • Routing Algorithms
  • Multiple Radio / Multiple Channel Problems
  • Scalability
  • Collaborative Caching

How WMN Research is Conducted

Research in this field is often conducted using simulation tools, testbed environments or a hybrid of both approaches. The most popular is Network Simulation 2 (NS2). There is also a successor to this tool being developed called NS3. The main difference being that NS3 has been designed with wireless simulation in mind while NS2 was originally a wired simulation only. There are many testbed environments for WMNs. One of the most well-known is MIT Roofnet

Wireless Mesh Network Research Groups and Projects in Canada

Wireless Mesh Researchers in Canada

Wireless Mesh Network Conferences

Wireless Mesh Network Journals


This article is a work in progress and still incomplete...I will add to it as I get more time and eventually remove this message :P -- User:Jernst


  • I.F. Akyildiz, X. Wang, W. Wang, "Wireless Mesh Networks: A Survey," in Computer Networks vol 47, pp 445-487. 2005.
  • J.B. Ernst, M.K. Denko, "Fair scheduling for wireless mesh betworks with multiple gateways", in Proc. of 23rd IEEE Int. Conf. on Advanced Information Networking and Applications (AINA 2009),May 2009.
  • A. Zimmermann, M. Gunes, M. Wenig, U. Meis, J. Ritzerfeld, "How to study wireless mesh networks: a hybrid testbed approach," in Proc. of 21st IEEE Int. Conf. on Advanced Information Networking and Applications (AINA 2007), pp. 853-860, May 2007.
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