NaN Grids

Gary Lawrence Murphy
05 Mar 2002 20:43:55 -0500

Ok, I confess. I know next to nothing about routers.  I'm an
applications-layer/protocol person.  I build services that hook to
some kind of client or peer app, but how the packets get there is pure
Mystery.  I also know next-to-squat about wireless; I know how radio
works, and have built interferometers from discarded VCRs, but how
that becomes an IP transport media is pure Mystery.

So here's a question for all those net people less backward than me:
This Neighbourhood Area Networks idea ... I understand the notion of
sharing access to get wide area coverage, but wouldn't it also be
possible to develop a wireless router appliance to make a NaN work
like a grid?  

Couldn't each base-station node in a neighbourhood peppered with
100m-radius wireless nodes do a little optimum-path processing that
would get one packet to another through the minimum hops or even do
some parallel path routing to _multiply_ the throughput?  Wouldn't
that outperform the trunk/branch model of even fibre networks?

Just a thought.

Subject: [news] Next step in 802.11 - Nanny networks

The future of wireless communications may lie in neighborhood area networks
(NANs, or "Nanny Networks"), which could vastly extend the range of local
Wi-Fi wireless networks by meshing together large numbers of Wi-Fi
communications nodes. Wi-Fi, the popular name for the 802.11 wireless
standard, is generally effective only within an area of several hundred
feet; however, by using mesh routing technology, engineers are planning
creation of the next-generation Internet as a challenge to the top-down
designs planned by the nation's cellular companies. MIT Media Laboratory
director Nicholas Negroponte says, "The good news is that broadband
wireless access will finally explode. The social contract is simple: you
can use mine when you are in the vicinity of Mount Vernon Street, Boston.
But I want to be able to use yours when I am near you." The new technology
could ultimately provide all homes, schools, and shopping centers access to
the Internet, and could jump-start the development of infrastructure
creation in developing countries. (New York Times 4 Mar 2002)

Gary Lawrence Murphy <> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems:
"Computers are useless.  They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)