Wifi Highway - could this work?

Eugen Leitl eugen@leitl.org
Fri, 3 Jan 2003 18:27:23 +0100 (CET)

On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Bill Kearney wrote:
> The buffering being the relevant aspect to consider.  WiFi isn't going

It doesn't matter if protocol level can handle it but the apps poop out.  
What do people do with network? Bidirectionally streaming video, audio,
ssh, chat, email. Out of this only email or similiar high-latency
messaging is not latency bound, provided the timeout is jacked up high and
the app can deal with IP address mutating under its feet (most current
apps can't).

> to be ubiquitous anytime soon.  And even then, contrary to what people
> want to believe, it's not going to give you fast connections if
> everyone's saturating it.  So using the concepts discussed for

That's what agoric load levelling is for. It deals with bandwidth
leeching/routing and generic network contention, which will degrade QoS.

> interplanetary involving low data rate, windows of connectivity
> (planets rotate out of alignment) and retransmission do seem relevant.  

I think the point of the network is to create maximum visibility by
offering multiple routes. You don't need many birds to illuminate a ball
of dirt if they're high up (though you need large high-gain antennas, so a 
few low orbit sat making routing by close flyby are probably the way to).

> Granted, the interplanetary network, barring accidents, would have a
> much higher degree of predictability than a roaming wifi user.  Gobs
> of mathematics, talk about routing woes!

I don't think it needs mathematics, just algorithms. And routing woes
largely go away if you go to geographic routing, which only involves
planning routes within node clouds less than a mile across. Gives you a
robust low-juice realtime position fix as well.
> It seems an awful lot of p2p development is making assumptions about
> the ubiquity of connectivity.  Try commuting with a laptop on high
> speed and underground trains and you'll really discover how poorly
> stream-like applications perform.  I'm not saying wireless won't be

Most stream is bidirectional, as people hate lag (voiping with minute lag 
is really difficult). You can only keep on streaming during outages if you 
have a very fat pipe during those bursts when you have connectivity.

> built out.  I'm suggesting that the techniques used for handling
> difficult connectivity are in need of a bit more research at the
> user-device level.

The weird thing, why didn't this happen about a decade ago? Why does all 
P2P suck so badly in 2003 still, for that matter?