Network Coded Media Distribution in Infrastructure Wireless Mesh Networks
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Infrastructure wireless mesh networks (IWMNs) provide inexpensive deployment, flexible extension of wireless infrastructure, and easy access to the Internet. With multiple radios at each node, a capacity per node improves by transmitting over these radios simultaneously using orthogonal channels. However, without properly addressing the problem of channel assignment and routing for those nodes that form wireless infrastructures, the resulting network throughput and reliability are unlikely to meet the requirements of those highly demanding, media distribution applications. On a particular channel, poor resource allocation at a given access point/gateway of the underlying IWMN can amplify the problem even further. Motivated by these problems, we develop, based on the theory of network coding, a set of alternative solutions that addresses the above issues. We first introduce a sub-optimal solution to the joint problem of network coding, channel assignment and link scheduling for throughput optimization in the multi-channel multi-radio IWMN. We mathematically formulate the problem as a linear program, taking into account opportunistic overhearing, among other constraints. Based on this formulation, we develop a sub-optimal, auction-based algorithm for network throughput optimization. Simulation results reveal the effectiveness of our algorithm in exploiting multiple radios and channels while coping with fairness issues arising from auctions. The proposed solution also shows promising gains over traditional routing solutions. Our experimental results on an 802.11 testbed further confirm these results. The second part of this thesis then presents three AP/gateway-oriented solutions that address the link-level issues related to radio resource allocation at a particular AP/gateway node of the underlying IWMN, which operates on a given channel serving a set of wireless clients. Since the last-hop wireless link is normally a bottleneck of the IWMN, the key idea underlying all the proposed solutions is to use a version of network coding at the bottlenecked AP/gateway. We use Markov chains and the probability theory to derive several performance measures related to media distribution for both uplink and downlink applications. Via extensive simulations, we show the promising delay and reliability gains of the network-coding based schemes over the traditional schemes without network coding.