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Supporting a Pseudo-TDMA Access Scheme in Mesh Wireless Networks


Wireless mesh networks appear a promising solution for pro- viding ubiquitous low-cost wireless access, but cannot rely on simple CSMA access protocols because of the critical inefficiencies that arise in topologies with hidden nodes. To overcome these limitations, some important protocol extensions based on synchronization and reservation mechanisms have been ratified. In this paper we show that an alternative approach to the standardiza- tion of new features and signaling messages for mesh networks can be the utilization of programmable nodes able to execute different MAC protocols programmed on the fly. Signaling messages are used only for disseminating the new protocol among the nodes. The scheme, that we call pseudo-TDMA, can be optimized as a function of the node density in the network. Apart from the numerical evaluations, we also run some experiments by exploiting our prototype of wireless programmable node called Wireless MAC Processor.