Overview and Goals
Wireless communication technologies are undergoing rapid advancements. The last few years have experienced a steep growth in research in the area of wireless mesh networks (WMNs). The attractiveness of WMNs, in general, is attributed to their characteristics such as the ability to dynamically self-organize and self-configure, coupled with the ability to maintain mesh connectivity leading, in effect, to low set-up/installation costs, simpler maintenance tasks, and service coverage with high reliability and fault-tolerance. WMNs also support their integration with existing wireless networks such as cellular networks, WLANs, wireless-fidelity (Wi-Fi), and worldwide interoperability of microwave access (WiMAX). WMNs have found useful applications in a broad range of domains such as broadband home networking, commercial/business networking, and community networking - particularly attractive in offering broadband wireless access with low initial installation and set-up costs.
Even though WMNs have emerged to be attractive and they hold great promises for our future, there are several challenges that need to be addressed. Some of the well known challenges are attributed to issues relating to scalability (significant drop in throughput with the increase in the number of nodes), multicasting, offering quality of service guarantees, energy efficiency, and security.
This handbook attempts to provide a comprehensive guide on fundamental key topics coupled with new ideas and results in the areas of WMNs. The book has been prepared keeping in mind that it needs to prove itself to be a valuable resource dealing with both the important core and the specialized issues in WMNs. We have attempted to offer a wide coverage of topics. We hope that it will be a valuable reference for students, instructors, researchers, and industry practitioners. We believe, this is particularly an attractive feature of this book, as the very limited selection of books available on WMNs we are aware of, are written primarily for academicians/researchers. We have attempted to make this book useful for both the academicians and the practitioners alike.
Organization and Features
The book is organized into 19 chapters, each chapter written by topical area experts. Chapter 1 is devoted to the basics of WMNs and their relationship between MANETs. Chapter 2 is devoted to issues concerning medium access. Chapters 3-8 discuss about various issues concerning routing and channel assignment in WMNs. Chapter 8 is worth mentioning, as it introduces a very interesting and important chapter on routing metrics. Chapters 9-11 center on congestion and other transport layer issues. The issues of multinetwork convergence and scalability are very key issues in WMNs and they are discussed in Chaps. 12 and 13. Chapter 14 is dedicated to the issues concerning mobility. The rest of the chapters, Chaps. 15-19, are devoted to some of the specialized topics relating to WMN such as the WiMAX metro area mesh networks, the symbiosis of cognitive radio with WMNs and the construction and evaluation of testbeds in WMNs.
We list below some of the important features of this book, which, we believe, would make this book a valuable resource for our readers:
Most of the chapters of the book are authored by prominent academicians/ researchers/practitioners in WMNs that have been working with these topics for quite a few years now and have thorough understanding of the concepts.
The authors of this book are distributed in a large number of countries and most of them are affiliated with institutions of worldwide repute. This gives this book an international flavor. The readers of this book can get absorbed by perspectives, suggestions, experiences and issues projected forward by authors from different countries.
Almost all the chapters in this book have a distinct section providing directions for future research, which, particularly, targets researchers working in these areas. We believe, this section in each chapter should provide insight to the researchers about some of the current research issues.
The authors of each chapter have also attempted to the extent possible to provide a comprehensive bibliography, which should greatly help the researchers and readers interested further to dig into the topic.
Almost all chapters of this book have a separate section outlining thoughts for practitioners. We believe, this section in every chapter will be particularly useful for industry practitioners working directly with the practical aspects behind enabling these technologies in the field.
Most of the chapters provide a list of important terminologies and their brief definitions.
Most of the chapters also provide a set of questions at the end that can help in assessing the understanding of the readers.
To make the book useful for pedagogical purposes, almost all chapters of the book also have a corresponding set of presentation slides. The slides can be obtained as a supplementary resource by contacting the publisher, Springer.
We have made attempts in all possible way we could to make the different chapters of the book look as much coherent and synchronized as possible. However, it cannot be denied that as the chapters were written by different authors, it was not fully possible to fully achieve this task. We believe that this is a limitation of most edited books of this sort.
The book is written by primarily targeting the student community. This includes the students of all levels - those getting introduced to these areas, those having an intermediate level of knowledge of the topics and those who are already knowledgeable about many of the topics. To keep up with this goal, we have attempted to design the overall structure and content of the book in such a manner that makes it useful at all learning levels. To aid in the learning process, almost all chapters have a set of questions at the end of the chapter. Also, in order that teachers can use this book for classroom teaching, the book also comes with presentation slides and sample solutions to exercise questions, which are available as supplementary resources.
The secondary audience for this book is the research community, whether they are working in the academia or in the industry. To meet the specific needs to this audience group, most chapters of the book also have a section in which attempts have been made to provide directions for future research.
Finally, we have also taken into consideration the needs to those readers, typically from the industries, who have quest for getting insight into the practical significance of the topics, i.e., how the spectrum of knowledge and the ideas are relevant for reallife working of WMNs.
As mentioned earlier, the book comes with the following supplementary resources:
Solution manual, having sample solutions to most questions provided at the end of the chapters.
Presentation slides, which can be used for classroom instruction by teachers.
Teachers can contact the publisher, Springer, to get access to these resources.
We are extremely thankful to the 50 authors of the 19 chapters of this book, who have worked very hard to bring this unique resource forward for help of the student, researcher, and practitioner community. The authors were very much interactive at all stages of preparation of the book from initial development of concept to finalization. We feel it is contextual to mention that as the individual chapters of this book are written by different authors, the responsibility of the contents of each of the chapters lies with the concerned authors.
We are also very much thankful to our colleagues in the Springer publishing and marketing teams, in particular, Mr. Wayne Wheeler and Ms. Catherine Brett, who tirelessly worked with us and guided us in the publication process. Special thanks also go to them for taking special interest in publishing this book, considering the current worldwide market needs for such a book.
Finally, we would like to thank our parents, Prof. J.C. Misra, Mrs. Shorasi Misra, Mr. John Sime, Mrs. Christine Seupa, our wives Satamita, Sulagna and Clarisse, and our children, Babai, Tultuli, Clyde, Lenny, and Kylian, for the continuous support and encouragement they offered during this project.
Kharagpur, India Sudip Misra
Boston, MA, USA Subhas Chandra Misra
Toronto, ON, Canada Isaac Woungang