On Using the Ad-hoc Network Model in Cellular Packet Data Networks

Hung-Yun Hsieh and Raghupathy Sivakumar
GNAN Research Group
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

MOBIHOC 2002, June 9-11, Lausanne, Switzerland


While several approaches have been proposed in literature for improving the performance of wireless packet data networks, a recent class of approaches has focused on improving the underlying wireless network model itself. Several of such approaches have shown that using peer-to-peer communication, a mode of communication used typically in ad-hoc wireless networks, can result in performance improvement in terms of both throughput and energy consumption. However, the true impact of using the ad-hoc network model in wireless packet data networks has neither been comprehensively studied, nor characterized. In this paper, we investigate the benefits of using an ad-hoc network model in cellular wireless packet data networks. We find that while the ad-hoc network model has significantly better spatial reuse characteristics, the improved spatial reuse does not translate into better throughput performance. Furthermore, although considerable improvement is seen in energy consumption performance, we observe that using the ad-hoc network model as-is might actually degrade the throughput performance of the network. We identify and discuss the reasons behind these observations. Finally, using the insights gained through our performance evaluations, we discuss strawman versions of three techniques which when used in tandem with the ad-hoc network model result in better throughput, energy consumption, fairness, and mobility-resilience characteristics. Through our simulation results, we motivate that using the ad-hoc network model in conventional wireless packet data networks is a promising approach when the network model is complemented with appropriate mechanisms.

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