What we learnt at Camp - Part 1 Throughput Deterioration in a Mesh

We've been very fortunate and honoured to have had the chance to interact with some really interesting people at the CCC 2011 and learn from them. We have had many questions with regards mesh, security, privacy and the best way forward and we thank everyone who has attended the workshop and helped show us light as to the best way forward.

This is the first of a series of posts that represent excerpts of a few of those teachings that we hope to put effort towards in the coming time.

Throughput deterioration over multiple hops in a mesh network

One of the things that we were quite eager to determine was how throughput is affected from hop to hop in a mesh network. This is improtant to determine if we run a software from a host that is many hops away how will the usability of the software get affected as the number of hops increases.

We were joined at the workshop by Saverio (part of Ninux) and Pau http://qmp.cat/projects/qmp. They were kind enough to cite tests done at Battlemesh and their personal experiences that in an ad-hoc wireless mesh network throughput was nearly halved with each hop till about 8 hops down whereupon throughput stabilized.

We demonstrated and tested eBrainPool between two devices (Erle's netbook and my laptop) over wifi and the performance between these two devices which were in radio range of each other was satisfactory.

Pau was kind enough to work with us in trying to get the eBrainPool code onto his laptop so we could have a more detailed series of tests especially in how deterioration affects usability, however we ran into some issues with getting Olsr up and running in ad-hoc mode on his laptop.

Hopefully we will work with the community in trying this out in larger networks and we will have some results to report soon :)

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