Overview - WMN Cluster
The WMN research cluster envisions a future where WMNs are setup and operated without any user involvement. Thus, all of the setup processes and subsequent maintenance and operation processes are hidden from the users of these networks.
The present reality of WMNs is that a significant setup process needs to be undertaken. The scope of the setup includes the assignment of node identities (IP addresses), setting of QoS parameters, fixing the transceiver powers utilized by the nodes and the establishment of keys used to encrypt network transmissions, amongst others. A key feature of the current setup process is that the values assigned to some of the key operational parameters are fixed. Once fixed, the network is unable to adjust these parameters to respond to changes in network conditions. This situation results in QoS levels that cannot be assured due to a lack of dynamism and autonomy.
The WMN cluster conducts research that aims to introduce autonomy into WMNs. Nodes should be able to dynamically adjust their setup in response to the prevailing state of the network. Several aspects of the provisioning of autonomy are focused on: Automatic Configuration, QoS, Energy-efficiency, and Security.
The various aspects of the autonomy provisioning, when integrated, will advance the field of WMNs by equipping nodes to self-configure during the initial setup as well as to dynamically adjust thereafter to changes in network conditions. This autonomy will greatly improve the adoption of WMNs due to the ease of use and operation of these networks. The user satisfaction will also improve as the WMN nodes will possess the ability to dynamically adjust key parameters such that the appropriate QoS levels are provided.