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SiAc: simultaneous activation of heterogeneous radios in high data rate multi-hop wireless networks

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Wireless networks are now experiencing ubiquitous deployment of multiple heterogeneous radios on single wireless devices such as smartphones, laptops, etc. Simultaneous activation of a low-capability radio in addition to a high-capability radio, to transmit data originated from a single application on such a device, is yet to be studied in the literature. Moreover, such activation of multiple radios from the application layer is another aspect, which is yet to be examined. Therefore, we investigate simultaneous activation of heterogeneous radios from the application layer in this paper. Our study reveals that we can significantly improve network performance with the simultaneous activation, and the improvement can even be disproportionately higher than the capability of the additional low-capability radio. However, the activation requires a judicious exploitation of the heterogeneous radios, i.e., suitable splitting of data over the radios. Therefore, we propose a cross-layer mathematical model to estimate the optimal data splitting. Estimations from our proposed model exhibit only 3 % average error, which we verify through ns-2 simulation. Besides, we evaluate the notion of simultaneous activation over a number of different network topologies through both ns-2 simulation and real testbed experiment to demonstrate achieving the disproportionately high performance improvement.

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  1. 1.

    Here, the capability of a radio depends on several factors such as its bandwidth, transmission range, etc. For example, comparing such factors for 802.15.4 and 802.11b radios (as presented in [34]), we can consider 802.15.4 radio as the lower-capability radio compared to 802.11b radio.

  2. 2.

    The number of hops depends on the number of transmission steps over the intermediate nodes. Here, the number of hops equals to one plus the number of intermediate nodes between the source and the destination. Consequently, an increase in the number of hops refers to an increase in the number of intermediate nodes, which inversely affects the effective bandwidth of a radio contributed to a data flow.

  3. 3.

    The spatial reuse depends on the number of non-interfering transmission steps through the intermediate nodes. For example, in case of three intermediate nodes or equivalently four-hop data transmission of a flow, the spatial reuse comes into play resulting \(\tau =2\). Here, the value \(2\) refers to two simultaneously transmitting hops (\(1st\) and \(4th\) hops in this case) in the flow.

  4. 4.

    In our study, we always take \(\tau =1\) as we find similar multiplicative effects of \(\tau\) in both numerator and denominator in our study (Eqs. 2, 3).

  5. 5.

    Note that the notion of total delay, i.e., total time duration required for completing transmission of a certain volume of data, is completely different from end-to-end delay that we will focus later in this paper.

  6. 6.

    Here, network throughput implies the total number of application-layer bits successfully transmitted in one second all over the network, average end-to-end delay implies the average of time durations incurred for successful end-to-end transmissions of packets carrying application-layer data, and average energy per bit implies average energy consumption all over the network incurred for successful transmission of one application-layer bit.

  7. 7.

    If we would want to consider such additional flows carrying cross-traffic, we will have to modify our mathematical models accordingly for estimating optimal data splitting over the radios in presence of such additional flows.

  8. 8.

    We calculate the average and standard deviation of the errors over all rows in Tables 3 and 4.

  9. 9.

    The lowest value of network throughput gives corresponding worst performance, and the highest values of end-to-end delay and energy per bit give corresponding worst performances.

  10. 10.

    Here, we mainly emphasize on congestion over wireless channels rather than congestion in queues storing packets in transit.

  11. 11.

    Evaluation using such very high data rate transmission demonstrates the performance of SiAc over a multi-hop wireless network, which experiences saturation of its capacity.


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Islam, A.B.M.A.A., Raghunathan, V. SiAc: simultaneous activation of heterogeneous radios in high data rate multi-hop wireless networks. Wireless Netw 21, 2425–2452 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11276-015-0923-2

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  • Wireless networks
  • Multi-radio systems
  • Heterogeneous radios