High-Throughput Routing for Multi-Hop Wireless Networks


Douglas S. J. De Couto

The expected transmission count (ETX) metric is a new route metric for finding high-throughput paths in multi-hop wireless networks. The ETX of a path is the expected total number of packet transmissions (including retransmissions) required to successfully deliver a packet along that path. For practical networks, paths with the minimum ETX have the highest throughput. The ETX metric incorporates the effects of link loss ratios, asymmetry in the loss ratios between the two directions of each link, and interference among the successive links of a path. Busy networks that use the ETX route metric will also maximize total network throughput.

We describe the design and implementation of ETX as a metric for the DSDV and DSR routing protocols, as well as modifications to DSDV and DSR which make them work well with ETX. Measurements taken from a 29-node 802.11b test-bed show that using ETX improves performance significantly over the widely-used minimum hop-count metric. For long paths the throughput increase is often a factor of two or more, suggesting that ETX will become more useful as networks grow larger and paths become longer.

We also present a simple model for predicting how packet delivery ratio varies with packet size, and detailed measurements which characterize the test-bed's distribution of link delivery ratios and route throughputs.

Thesis Supervisor: Robert T. Morris

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Last modified: 8 May 2004