A wireless ad hoc network is formed by a group of wireless hosts, without the use of any infrastructure. To enable communication, hosts cooperate among themselves to forward packets on behalf of each other. A key challenge in ad hoc networks lies in designing efficient routing strategies. While several routing protocols have been proposed, most of them aim to select one optimal route between the source and destination. The MAC layer at each intermediate node is then required to forward packets to the next downstream node on that route. We argue that choosing a single optimal route at the network layer may not be sufficient. Knowledge of short-term channel conditions at the MAC layer can play an important role in improving end-to-end performance. Instantaneous interference, channel contention, power constraints and other considerations may be taken into account along with the network layer's long-term view. This paper proposes MAC-layer anycasting - a forwarding strategy that combines the guidelines from the network layer, with MAC layer knowledge of the local channel. We describe some applications of MAC-layer anycasting, and discuss the performance related tradeoffs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Networks and Communications