CarNet: A Scalable Wireless Network Infrastructure



Progress Report: January 1, 2001–June 30, 2001


Robert Morris and M. Frans Kaashoek


Project Overview

Smart devices will require self-configuring wireless data networks that support mobility. Current network technologies are awkward for smart devices: for example, the Internet does not support mobility, the cellular telephone network requires expensive pre-deployed infrastructure, and existing "ad-hoc" networking proposals do not scale well. The CarNet project is designing and building a network system that avoids these restrictions.

The core of the CarNet project is the Grid ad-hoc wireless routing protocol. Ad-hoc routing allows cooperating hosts to form their own self-configuring networks, in which nodes can move and communicate without depending on pre-existing infrastructure. However, existing ad-hoc systems are not practical for more than small numbers of nodes, since in many cases they require global flooding of location queries or topology information. Grid achieves better scaling with a combination of geographic forwarding and a distributed location service; as a result, Grid should be able to support orders of magnitude more nodes.

The scope of the CarNet project includes:



Progress Through June 2001

In the last six months, the project completed the following tasks.

Research Plan for the Next Six Months

The major focus for the next six months will be completion of a production network deployment. The specific results of this deployment will be:

In addition, we will pursue a number of longer-term research topics. The areas we have in mind: