A Framework for the Self-Configuration of Wireless Mesh Networks
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The use of wireless radio technology is well established for narrowband access systems, but its use for broadband access is relatively new. Wireless mesh architecture is a first step towards providing high-bandwidth wireless network coverage, spectral efficiency, and economic advantage. However, the widespread adoption and use of Wireless Mesh Networks (WMN) as a backbone for large wireless access networks and for last-mile subscriber access is heavily dependent on the technology’s ease of deployment. In order for WMNs to be regarded as mainstream technology, it needs to gain a competitive edge compared to wireline technologies such as DSL and cable. To achieve this, a broadband wireless network must be self-configuring, self-healing and self-organizing. In this thesis, we address these challenges. First, we propose a four-stage scheme (power-up, bootstrapping, network registration, and network optimization). We develop algorithms for each of these stages, taking advantage of the inherent properties of WMNs to determine the network’s topology. The novel part of our scheme is in the de-coupling of the subscriber’s credentials from the network hardware. This is a key part of our architecture as it helps ensure quick network enrolment, management and portability. It also helps, in our opinion, make the concept of widespread deployment using commodity hardware feasible.