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Researchers boost efficiency of multi hop wireless networks


Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a novel data transmission approach which they claim can boost the amount of data multi hop wireless networks transmit by 20 to 80%.

Dr Rudra Dutta, an associate professor of computer science at NC State and co-author of a paper on the research, said: "Our approach increases the average amount of data that can be transmitted within the network by at least 20% for networks with randomly placed nodes and up to 80% if the nodes are positioned in clusters within the network."

Multi hop wireless networks utilise multiple wireless nodes to provide coverage to a large area by forwarding and receiving data wirelessly between the nodes. These networks have 'hot spots' – places in the network where multiple wireless transmissions can interfere with each other. This limits how quickly the network can transfer data, because the nodes have to take turns transmitting data at these congested points.

If data is transmitted at low power over short distances, the degree of interference is reduced. But this method means the data has to be transmitted through many nodes before reaching its destination.

To address this problem, Dutta and PhD student Parth Pathak developed an approach called 'centrality based power control', whereby an algorithm instructs each node in the network on how much power to use for each transmission depending on its destination.

The algorithm optimises system efficiency by determining when a powerful transmission is worth the added signal disruption and when less powerful transmissions are needed.

Author
Simon Fogg

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