C. M. Lee, V. Pappas, S. Sahu, S. Seshan
In this paper, we study the impact of coverage on the robustness of wireless ad hoc networks. Many systems parameters, such as the transmission power, type of the antenna, and type of signal modulation, can be used to control coverage. We define coverage from the perspective of one wireless node as the average number of neighbors that it can communicate with directly. Having more direct neighbors can increase the chances of successful receipt of a packet from at least one of the neighbors. However, it can also decrease the chances that packets are successfully decoded at a receiver due to the overall increase in interference from signals that propagate further. This trade-off is relatively well understood in traditional infrastructure-based wireless networks and there exists protocols that attempt to maximize spatial reuse of the spectrum. However, interactions with routing protocols make this trade-off much more complex in ad hoc networking scenarios. We present some initial results on a simple extension to traditional routing protocols that can improve the network robustness during route recalculations. We also argue that for non-traditional routing protocols that embrace the broadcast nature of the wireless channel, such as opportunistic based or network coding based routing protocols, this trade-off warrants further examination.