Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Wireless mesh networks are experiencing rapid progress and inspiring numerous applications in different scenarios, due to features such as autoconfiguration, self-healing, connectivity coverage extension and support for dynamic topologies. These particular characteristics make wireless mesh networks an appropriate architectural basis for the design of easy-to-deploy community or neighbourhood networks. One of the main challenges in building a community network using mesh networks is the minimisation of user intervention in the IP address configuration of the network nodes. In this paper we first consider the process of building an IP-based mesh network using typical residential routers, exploring the options for the configuration of their wireless interfaces. Then we focus on IP address autoconfiguration, identifying the specific requirements for community mesh networks and analysing the applicability of existing solutions. As a result of that analysis, we select PACMAN, an efficient distributed address autoconfiguration mechanism originally designed for ad-hoc networks, and we perform an experimental study - using off-the-shelf routers and assuming worst-case scenarios - analysing its behaviour as an IP address autoconfiguration mechanism for community wireless mesh networks. The results of the conducted assessment show that PACMAN meets all the identified requirements of the community scenario.