In the last decade, wireless mesh networks (WMNs) have received great attention as a next-generation wireless multi-hop infrastructure, thanks to many of its advantages such as easy deployment, low management cost and good scalability. Since WMNs are inherently based on the multi-hop wireless communication, it is the most important to select efficient paths between communicating nodes.
This dissertation first summarizes characteristics of WMNs and the design considerations for developing efficient topology control and routing protocols. Topology control, which includes neighbor discovery, tracking and updating, is a key area that needs to be dealt with appropriately to increase the network performance. The use of directional antenna in Wireless Mesh Networks is beneficial in constructing backbone networks viewing the properties of directional antenna. The backbone links must be robust to obtain better network performance. In this paper, a simple yet effective topology control protocol is presented that performs well compared to its predecessors. This protocol constructs the topology with the constraints in the number of links per node. The full topology is constructed in two phases. The first phase is two-degree link forming a topology with links with two of its one hop neighboring nodes. The basic idea of forming two degree links is to form the robust topology with less interference, easy control etc. The second phase is web-link formation where an extra directional link is used to make a link forming a spider-web like structure. This link is constructed to decrease the hop counts within the nodes while communication. The resultant topology is termed as Web-topology. The topology formed is robust and efficient.
The collaborative routing protocol (COLRP) for wireless multi-hop networks with directional antennas utilizes the wireless broadcast advantage (WBA) properties. In collaborative routing, the neighboring nodes collaborate with each other to directionally forward the packets when an intermediate relay node is unable to perform its task due to link/channel/node failure. The process of collaboration is supported by the RSS value obtained from the MAC layer to form the set of collaborating nodes. The temporary link formed by one of the collaborating nodes will maintain the ongoing transmission until the old route is recovered or a fresh route is generated. We performed simulation studies using QualNet to prove that our protocol is suitable for wireless mesh networks that are prone to frequent node/link failure.
The overall result of the topology control protocol and routing protocol promises the enhanced performance in terms of throughput, delay, hop count and delivery ratio. Wireless mesh networks with directional antenna can be implemented with topology control protocol and routing protocol can give the required performance.