Multicast networks : capacity, algorithms, and implementation



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In this dissertation, we investigate the capacity and performance of wireless networks with an emphasis on multicast traffic. The defining characteristic of a multicast network is a network where a number of different destinations all require the information generated by a single source. The models that we explore differ in the nature of the nodes from all-mobile case where all nodes are mobile to hybrid case where some nodes are mobile and some are static. We investigate different performance measure for these wireless multicast networks: upper bounds, capacity scaling laws, and achievable rates. The understanding of these measures for such networks helps in the development of efficient algorithms for operating these networks.

In addition, we study the practical realization of algorithms for real-time streaming of rich multimedia content in the context of mobile wireless networks for embedded and cyberphysical systems. Our initial work is in the context of unicast and multiple unicast systems over an autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) network. Bandwidth requirements and stringent delay constraints of real-time video streaming, paired with limitations on computational complexity and power consumptions imposed by the underlying implementation platform, make cross-layer and cross-domain co-design approaches a necessity. In this dissertation, we propose a novel, low-complexity rate-distortion optimized (RDO) protocol specifically targeted at video streaming over mobile embedded networks. First, we test the performance of our RDO algorithm on simulation models developed for aerial mobility of multiple wirelessly communicating AAVs. Second, we test the performance of our RDO algorithm and other proposed adaptive algorithms on a real network of AAVs and present a comparative study between these different algorithms. Note that generalizing these algorithms to multicast settings is relatively straightforward and thus is not highlighted to a great degree in this thesis.