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As a next generation network solution, Wireless Mesh Networks (WMN) provides fast Internet access to a large area, which is from university campus to city scale. In order to provide an uninterrupted Internet experience to a mobile client, a process called handoff is required to maintain the network connection from one Mesh Node (MN) to another MN. Ideally, handoff should be completely transparent to mobile users. A critical application like VoIP will require a handoff capability that transfers a call from one mesh node (MN) to another in less than 50 msec. However the current IEEE 802.11 standards do not address the handoff well. Studies have revealed that standard handoff on IEEE 802.11 WLANs incurs a latency of the order of hundreds of milliseconds to several seconds. Moreover, the discovery step in the handoff process accounts for more than 99% of this latency. The study addresses the latency in the discovery step by introducing an efficient and powerful client-side scan technique called MeshScan which replaces the discovery step with a unicast scan that transmits Authentication Request frames to potential MNs. A prototype of MeshScan has been developed based on the MadWifi WLAN driver on Linux operating systems. The feasibility of MeshScan to support fast handoff in WMNs has been demonstrated through extensive computer simulations and experiments under same given conditions. The results from the simulations and experiments show that the latency associated with handoff can be reduced from seconds to a few milliseconds by using the MeshScan technique. Furthermore, it is shown that MeshScan can continue to function effectively even under heavy traffic loads.
Chen, Y. (2010). MeshScan:a Fast and Efficient Handoff Scheme for IEEE 802.11 Wireless Mesh Networks. Masters dissertation. Technological University Dublin. doi:10.21427/D7HG8Q