Routing in Multi-radio, Multi-hop Wireless Mesh Networks

We present a new metric for routing in multi-radio, multihop wireless networks. We focus on wireless networks with stationary nodes, such as community wireless networks. The goal of the metric is to choose a high-throughput path between a source and a destination. Our metric assigns weights to individual links based on the Expected Transmission Time (ETT) of a packet over the link. The ETT is a function of the loss rate and the bandwidth of the link. The individual link weights are combined into a path metric called Weighted Cumulative ETT (WCETT) that explicitly accounts for the interference among links that use the same channel. The WCETT metric is incorporated into a routing protocol that we call Multi-Radio Link-Quality Source Routing.

We studied the performance of our metric by implementing it in a wireless testbed consisting of 23 nodes, each equipped with two 802.11 wireless cards. We find that in a multi-radio environment, our metric significantly outperforms previously-proposed routing metrics by making judicious use of the second radio.