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From “input” to “parameter”: The Topology Dichotomy in the Future Wireless Internet
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  1. From “input” to “parameter”: The Topology Dichotomy in the Future Wireless Internet NSF FIND Mobility Workshop, Sep. 27, 2007 Ram Ramanathan BBN Technologies Cambridge, MA (ramanath@bbn.com)

  2. The 3 dimensions of FIND…. Medium = (Wired, Wireless) Motion = (Stationary, Mobile) Between = (Router and Host, Router and Router)

  3. … and 3 trends to consider Increasing Waveform Diversity Software Radios Mesh Networking

  4. (1) Increasing waveform diversity • Waveform: The transmission/reception technology used for wireless communications, especially with respect to modulation, coding, spreading etc. (in other words the “physical layer protocol”) • The diversity of available waveforms has been rapidly increasing • Beamforming • Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) • Ultra-wide Band (UWB) • Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) • Spectrum agility • Each is useful in its own way and very different from others • E.g. MIMO is great in multipath-rich urban environments, but introduces processing latency; UWB is high-capacity but short range • The link profile created by each of these is unique in terms of capacity, latency, error rate, variation in latency and error rate, volatility, etc.

  5. (2) Software - Agile - Cognitive Radios Ampl Ampl freq freq Spectrum-agile Radio Spectrum-agile Radio Source: Vanu Inc. • Software Radio • Signal processing functions in software and so easily changeable • Many kinds, depending upon where hardware/software boundary exists (software defined, soft) • Gnu Radio • Waveform Agile Radio • A particular way of using software radios • Sense environment and adapt transmission characteristics • Cognitive Radio • Knows about itself, environment, policies, needs • Use reasoning and learning Source: Mitola, IEEE MMC 1999

  6. (3) Ad hoc / Mesh Networks Many vendors Commerical Community wireless METRICOM UMTS Wireless ISPs IETF MANET WG 802.11s 802.16a DARPA GloMo, SUO DARPA FCS-C MNM,… DARPA Packet Radio DARPA SURAN Military JTRS JTRS 1970 2010 1990 2000 1980 • Sudden increase in IEEE standards bodies interested in ad hoc / mesh networks, community wireless, vendors, etc. • 802.11s, 802.16a, 802.15.5, 802.20 …. • Quite possible that the Internet will evolve to have a hybrid wired/wireless infrastructure • Wireless access points, special rooftop nodes, standardized wireless routers

  7. The emergence of the topology dichotomy

  8. Waveform agility to topology control Trend1: Waveform Diversity Waveform agility Highly diverse, flexible,definable links Trend 2: Agile/cognitive Radios Much more diverse and controllable topologies Trend 3: Mesh Networks Can do or Can do or ( and ) Can’t do if or

  9. Recall the 3 dimensions of FIND Medium = (Wired, Wireless) Motion = (Stationary, Mobile) Between = (Router and Host, Router and Router)

  10. The Dichotomy for Internet Routing Fundamentally changes how Internet routing works! Consider Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) for example Wired, Stationary, Router-Router Constraints Topology is a given OSPF Routes Wireless, Stationary/Mobile, Router-Router Constraints Topology Is a controllable parameter Create OSPF Negotiate Routes

  11. Impact Multi-homed High-capacity • Mesh networks may only be stubs in the Internet • As is commonly depicted in most pictures Internet Internet Mesh Network • But they could well be transit networks too?! • Increasing performance equality with wired networks may make them tempting alternate paths especially in regions of poor wireline connectivity (rural/remote areas) • Is already being designed into the next generation U.S military networks • Waveform/link/topology agility and definability has a major impact on the architecture if the latter happens • Should a new architecture consider this possibility?

  12. Architectural Implications • Instead of abstraction and hiding details of lower layers, the entire system must be cognizant of and exploit physical layer flexibility • Cross-layer and beyond to new layering • Routing protocols should be able to control the topology of the wireless part of the network • Should be able to vary the communication waveforms and create desirable topologies • “Made to order” links supported by cross-layer or new stack approaches • Transport protocols should incorporate feedback control mechanisms that are adaptive to a wide range of underlying-media characteristics • A rich API or, even better, a control/knowledge plane that allows for a dialogue between routing and physical layer

  13. Summary • Wireless router-router links will likely be a part of the future Internet topology • Three trends are in play with significant combined impact • Waveform diversity • Agile/cognitive radios • Mesh networks • Diverse, agile, controllable, tradeoff-able links…. • are not part of current Internet architecture…. • but need to be in order to exploit the resources to the fullest • Next generation architecture should allow for a high degree of flexibility, adaptivity • Rethink layering • Rethink the notion of “interfaces”/“links” not just as “input” but also a “parameter” • Think topology control