Date of Award

Winter 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical & Computer Engineering

Committee Director

Min Song

Committee Member

Lee A. Belfore

Committee Member

Frederic D. McKenzie

Committee Member

Qun Li


Recently, wireless mesh networks (WMNs) have attracted much attention. A vast amount of unicast, multicast and broadcast protocols has been developed for WMNs or mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs). First of all, broadcast and multicast in wireless networks are fundamentally different from the way in which wired networks function due to the well-known wireless broadcast/multicast advantage. Moreover, most broadcast and multicast protocols in wireless networks assume a single-radio single-channel and single-rate network model, or a generalized physical model, which does not take into account the impact of interference. This dissertation focuses on high-performance broadcast and multicast protocols designed for multi-radio multi-channel (MRMC) WMNs. MRMC increases the capacity of the network from different aspects. Multi-radio allows mesh nodes to simultaneously send and receive through different radios to its neighbors. Multi-channel allows channels to be reused across the network, which expands the available spectrum and reduces the interference. Unlike MANETs, WMNs are assumed to be static or with minimal mobility. Therefore, the main design goal in WMNs is to achieve high throughput rather than to maintain connectivity. The capacity of WMNs is constrained by the interference caused by the neighbor nodes. One direct design objective is to minimize or reduce the interference in broadcast and multicast. This dissertation presents a set of broadcast and multicast protocols and mathematical formulations to achieve the design goal in MRMC WMNs. First, the broadcast problem is addressed with full consideration of both inter-node and intra-node interference to achieve efficient broadcast. The interference-aware broadcast protocol simultaneously achieves full reliability, minimum broadcast or multicast latency, minimum redundant transmissions, and high throughput. With an MRMC WMN model, new link and channel quality metrics are defined and are suitable for the design of broadcast and multicast protocols. Second, the minimum cost broadcast problem (MCBP), or minimum number of transmissions problem, is studied for MRMC WMNs. Minimum cost broadcast potentially allows more effective and efficient schedule algorithms to be designed. The proposed protocol with joint consideration of channel assignment reduces the interference to improve the throughput in the MCBP. Minimum cost broadcast in MRMC WMNs is very different from that in the single radio single channel scenario. The channel assignment in MRMC WMNs is used to assign multiple radios of every node to different channels. It determines the actual network connectivity since adjacent nodes have to be assigned to a common channel. Transmission on different channels makes different groups of neighboring nodes, and leads to different interference. Moreover, the selection of channels by the forward nodes impacts on the number of radios needed for broadcasting. Finally, the interference optimization multicast problem in WMNs with directional antennas is discussed. Directional transmissions can greatly reduce radio interference and increase spatial reuse. The interference with directional transmissions is defined for multicast algorithm design. Multicast routing found by the interference-aware algorithm tends to have fewer channel collisions. The research work presented in this dissertation concludes that (1) new and practical link and channel metrics are required for designing broadcast and multicast in MRMC WMNs; (2) a small number of radios is sufficient to significantly improve throughput of broadcast and multicast in WMNs; (3) the number of channels has more impact on almost all performance metrics, such as the throughput, the number of transmission, and interference, in WMNs.