Abstract

The capacity of wireless mesh networks (WMN) must usually be upgraded as usage demands evolve over time. This is normally done by adding gateways which serve to increase the backhaul capacity of the network. In this paper we consider adding capacity in this manner using free-space optical (FSO) backhaul links. To accomplish this, we formulate a joint clustering and gateway placement problem which includes the strong rate-distance dependence of practical FSO links. The formulation incorporates the positions of existing wireline gateways and minimizes the number of additional hybrid-FSO/RF gateways which are needed to satisfy the target capacity requirements. After showing the complexity of the problem, a solution that is motivated by genetic algorithms is proposed. The performance of our algorithm is then compared to an optimal solution generated via an integer linear program (ILP) for small WMNs. The proposed algorithm is then modified to allow for balancing the traffic load that is carried by each gateway in the WMN. Many scenarios are considered which demonstrate the value of using FSO backhaul links to obtain post-deployment capacity upgrades in response to changes in user traffic.

© 2009 IEEE

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