Using opportunistic coding to boost wireless
|June 28, 2006|
MIT’s Dina Katabi is working on technology called COPE designed to deliver a wireless throughput breakthrough: one that will not just involve a 10% increase in throughput or even what the latest 802.11 iterations might bring. “We need a severalfold increase,” she says.
Key to pulling this off is treating wireless like…. wireless, and taking advantage of its shared nature and broadcast capabilities rather than force-fitting it to work like a point-to-point wired nets.
She is also advocating a system that gives routers responsibility for mixing or coding the packets it receives and then shooting them out to a dynamic set of senders and receivers that all take a listen for new traffic to determine if the traffic is for them or a neighbour.
Early experiments with the wireless technique have shown significant throughput increases. She says that her group saw a doubling of throughput in a very small setting and as much as fourfold in an experiment using UDP traffic involving 34 nodes on three floors of an MIT building.
In response to a question about whether the technology has made it into any commercial products, Katabi stresses that the work is still in its early stages.