Throughput-coverage tradeoff in a scalable wireless mesh network

Jane Hwa Huang*, Li-Chun Wang, Chung-Ju Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The wireless mesh network (WMN) is an economical and low-power solution to support ubiquitous broadband services. However, mesh networks face scalability and throughput bottleneck issues as the coverage and the number of users increase. Specifically, if the coverage is extended by multiple hops, the repeatedly relayed traffic will exhaust the radio resource and degrade user throughput. Meanwhile, as the traffic increases because of more users, the throughput bottleneck will occur at the users close to the gateway. The contention collisions among these busy users near the gateway will further reduce user throughput. In this paper, a newly proposed scalable multi-channel ring-based WMN is employed. Under the ring-based cell structure, multi-channel frequency planning is used to reduce the number of contending users at each hop and overcome the throughput bottleneck issue, thereby making the system more scalable to accommodate more users and facilitate coverage extension. This paper mainly focuses on investigating the overall tradeoffs between user throughput and cell coverage in the ring-based WMN. An analytical throughput model is developed for the ring-based WMN using the carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) medium access control (MAC) protocol. In the analysis, we also develop a bulk-arrival semi-Markov queueing model to describe user behavior in a non-saturation condition. On top of the developed analytical model, a mixed-integer nonlinear optimization problem is formulated, aiming to maximize cell coverage and capacity. Applying this optimization approach, we can obtain the optimal number of rings and the associated ring widths of the ring-based WMN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-290
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Parallel and Distributed Computing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2008


  • Frequency planning
  • Multi-channel and multi-radio operations
  • Scalability issue
  • Throughput-coverage tradeoff
  • Wireless mesh network (WMN)

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