mesh network is a term for highly interconnected networks (also called ad-hoc multihop networks) , where every part of the network (every node) knows how to reach every other node in the mesh network. if one node cannot reach another node directly, it will use the other nodes inbetween to forward the data for it. all nodes participate on a equal basis in the mesh, there are no hirarchies in the network (this is maybe the main difference to the way the internet is organized today). usually mesh networks operate at OsiLayer 3, so they are routed networks.
the practical appearance of a mesh network is that the network will form itself automatically: you just place some cubes over an area and the cubes will find themselfes automatically and set up routes to each other. if one of the cubes has access to another network, the internet for example, it can also tell this all other cubes and they can connect to it as well.
the exchange of the information about the network topology is done with a mesh routing protocol. every node in the mesh has to participate in this protocol in order to announce itself to all other nodes and to receive information about them. this way every participant has the possibility to get information about how to reach every other participant. there are different ways on how this information is announced, forwarded and processed and they are implemented in different mesh routing protocols. there are two different classes of mesh routing protocols, both with their specific advantages and disadvantages:
ProactiveProtocol – route information is exchanged in advance
ReactiveProtocol – routes are discovered when needed.
there are several MeshRoutingProtocols available for the meshcube. currently there are:
MobileMesh – proactive, the default
OLSR – proactive, may be used in the future
AODV – reactive, external
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