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Peer-to-Peer Mesh Network Optimized for the Constraints of a Wireless Operating Environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000130450D
Publication Date: 2005-Nov-09
Document File: 2 page(s) / 27K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Wireless communication devices today require connection to a relay infrastructure and the charging of expensive carrier fees for its use. The alternative for a large group of users that wish to communicate at low cost is operation within a WiFi hotspot in which devices connect through a central access point. However, such a hotspot has a limited range, must be installed in a fixed physical location, is an expense in itself, and requires administration. Users must still be within range of a hotspot and cannot communicate within any arbitrary area. The invention is for an optimized wireless peer-to-peer mesh network (such as based on 802.11 technology) that automatically populates a local map of nodes, captures presence information (and other functional parameters as described), and optimizes the routing of voice calls through nodes in a co-operative fashion based on battery power and signal strength remaining. In any local calling environment where a hotspot may not be available, each wireless device acts as an independent access point represented as a peer node, permitting point-to-point connections in peer-to-peer fashion. Namely, a device automatically finds all devices within range, and populates a list of contacts without requiring a central access point or server. To extend the available range, a mesh network is created out of all devices in the area. Devices with high battery power remaining will be used as intermediate nodes in forwarding packets in co-operative fashion between the parties engaged in a call. Encryption ensures that the data is kept private. Through a dynamically constructed routing table, data packets will hop from one node to the next. As battery power decreases, devices lose signal strength or available bandwidth, or packet loss occurs due to interference, the routing map is automatically adjusted to bypass these devices. At the same time, when new devices appear, they will be automatically discovered through probing and updated in the routing table. Dynamic state information is periodically broadcasted to all other devices. Thus, unlike a hotspot where all parties must be within range of it, this invention allows two parties to communicate directly with each other or indirectly as long as there are one or more third-party devices available to forward the data, increasing the effective range and reliability of the call. Devices that begin to run low on battery power are removed from the sharing environment so as not to drain them. This extends the concept of peer-to-peer file sharing technology to work well under the constraints of a wireless environment. This permits an inexpensive out-of-the-box solution where devices can operate in a relatively large geographical area without necessitating a connection to a WiFi hotspot. Connections can be made between devices even in an unpopulated area, making it appropriate for outdoor travel. This technology also permits for a longer range between parties than is possible within a hotspot. The user does not need to pay carrier fees, or even for access to a public hotspot. The invention works well in university campuses, warehouses, amusement parks, etc., where a group of individuals has a constant need for communication and is located in geographical proximity.

This text was extracted from a Microsoft Word document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

WIRELESS OPTIMIZED PEER-TO-PEER NETWORK

Peer-to-Peer Mesh Network Optimized for the Constraints of a Wireless Operating Environment.

Disclosed Anonymously

Wireless communication devices today require connection to a relay infrastructure and the charging of expensive carrier fees for its use. The alternative for a large group of users that wish to communicate at low cost is operation within a WiFi hotspot in which devices connect through a central access point. However, such a hotspot has a limited range, must be installed in a fixed physical location, is an expense in itself, and requires administration. Users must still be within range of a hotspot and cannot communicate within any arbitrary area.

The invention is for an optimized wireless peer-to-peer mesh network (such as based on 802.11 technology) that automatically populates a local map of nodes, captures presence information (and other functional parameters as described), and optimizes the routing of voice calls through nodes in a co-operative fashion based on battery power and signal strength remaining. In any local calling environment where a hotspot may not be available, each wireless device acts as an independent access point represented as a peer node, permitting point-to-point connections in peer-to-peer fashion. Namely, a device automatically finds all devices within range, and populates a list of contacts without requiring a central access point or server. To extend the available range, a mesh network is created out of all devices in the area. Devices with high battery power remaining will be used as intermediate nodes in forwarding packets in co-operative fashion between the parties engaged in a call. Encryption ensures that the data is kept private. Through a dynamically con...