Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Mesh Networking

September 15th, 2005 · No Comments

Jason Pontin writes:

Meshies believe that mesh networks will overthrow traditional networking and communications and create entirely new kinds of distributed software. For the purposes of this column, mesh networks (sometimes called mobile ad hoc networks, or MANETs) are local-area networks whose nodes communicate directly with each other through wireless connections. It is the lack of a hub-and-spoke structure that distinguishes a mesh network. Meshes do not need designated routers: instead, nodes serve as routers for each other. Thus, data packets are forwarded from node to node in a process that network technologists term “hopping.”

Mesh networks will be big business. There are billions of networked devices and embedded processors in the world; many more will be built. The best way to connect all of them will be through mesh networks. But the most disruptive business impact of meshes will be this: telecommunications companies do not own them. Meshes profoundly diminish the organizations that own and manage communications backbones.

But I believe that the most intriguing aspect of mesh networks is their cybernetic qualities. That is, mesh networks are adaptive systems that resemble biological systems (we recently wrote about MIT mathematics professor Norbert Wiener, the founder of cybernetics). Many meshies like to say that they draw their inspiration from the behavior of swarming bees or ants.

Tags: Telecom

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