In this paper, we address the following question: given a specific placement of wireless nodes in physical space and a specific traffic workload, what is the maximum throughput that can be supported by the resultant network? Unlike previous work that has focused on computing asymptotic performance bounds under assumptions of homogeneity or randomness in the network topology and/or workload, we work with any given network and workload specified as inputs.
A key issue impacting performance is wireless interference between neighboring nodes. We model such interference using a conflict graph, and present methods for computing upper and lower bounds on the optimal throughput for the given network and workload. To compute these bounds, we assume that packet transmissions at the individual nodes can be finely controlled and carefully scheduled by an omniscient and omnipotent central entity, which is clearly unrealistic. Nevertheless, using ns-2 simulations, we show that the routes derived from our analysis often yield noticeably better throughput than the default shortest path routes even in the presence of uncoordinated packet transmissions and MAC contention. This suggests that there is opportunity for achieving throughput gains by employing an interference-aware routing protocol.