Enabling Software-Defined Networking for Wireless Mesh Networks in Smart Environments

TitleEnabling Software-Defined Networking for Wireless Mesh Networks in Smart Environments
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsPatil, P. R., A. Hakiri, Y. Barve, and A. Gokhale
Conference NameNetwork Computing and Applications (NCA), 2016 IEEE 15th International Symposium on

Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs) serve as a key enabling technology for various smart initiatives, such as Smart Power Grids, by virtue of providing a self-organized wireless communication superhighway that is capable of monitoring the health and performance of system assets as well as enabling efficient trouble shooting notifications. Despite this promise, the current routing protocols in WMNs are fairly limited, particularly in the context of smart initiatives. Additionally, managing and upgrading these protocols is a difficult and error-prone task since the configuration must be enforced individually at each router. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) shows promise in this regard since it enables creating a customizable and programmable network data plane. However, SDN research to date has focused predominantly on wired networks, e.g., in cloud computing, but seldom on wireless communications and specifically WMNs. This paper addresses the limitations in SDN for WMNs by allowing the refactoring of the wireless protocol stack so as to provide modular and flexible routing decisions as well as fine-grained flow control. To that end, we describe an intelligent network architecture comprising a three-stage routing approach suitable for WMNs in uses cases, such as Smart Grids, that provides an efficient and affordable coverage as well as scalable high bandwidth capacity. Experimental results evaluating our approach for various QoS metrics like latency and bandwidth utilization show that our solution is suitable for the requirements of mission-critical WMNs.