Technical Resources

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The Bible

Popular Mesh Protocol Documentation

It is best to understand technical mesh documentation by realizing that there are three layers to implementing a mesh build that can be installed on routers. The first layer of what is installed on any mesh router is the algorithm that is used to decide how traffic is routed to other nodes. The second layer is the Protocol where the algorithm is adjusted to suit the needs of the situation the routers will be in. These protocols make the core algorithm make sense in the world of Switched-Packet Routing that derives all "digital" information transfers (for example, VOIP, compared to regular telephone service which, in its basic form, is an analog signal). In the final layer, the protocol can be placed within a firmware. Therefore it is possible to use the OLSR protocol within the DD-WRT and OPEN-WRT firmwares.

There are two classes of routing protocols. Distance-Vector Routing Protocols (which use the Bellman-Ford, Ford-Fulkerson, or DUAL FSM algorithms) and Link-State Protocols (which use XXXX Algorithms.

Distance-Vector Routing Protocols

DVRPs are older protocols like RIP (Routing Information Protocol) that update routing tables of the hops it takes to reach a destination at regular intervals. They are not very scalable due to the way they send and receive updates about the topology of the network. In a DVRP network, no one router has a complete vision of the entire network because each router is only concerned with only the number of hops to a destination but not what routers it takes to get there. In other words, It is possible for a router to see a route to a destination that includes a hop through itself without realizing itself is included in the routing path. Because of this problem, DVRP's only allow 15 hops before traffic is marked as in an infinite loop and dropped. Large networks may legitimately require 16 or more hops and thus DVRP networks do not work well in large situations. Even if the hop limit was raised well beyond 15, the update intervals (usually 30 seconds) would eventually cause massive network overhead traffic and would cause bad routes that are physically disconnected for only a few moments to proliferate for a much longer time as updates would tell other routers in the network that the LAN is unreachable. With all this said, however, major improvements have been made to DVRPs in recent years. BABEL protocol is quickly becoming regarded as one of the most scalable and stable protocols in the mesh world.


Bellman-Ford algorithm
Ford-Fulkerson algorithm


Destination-Sequenced Distance Vector routing (DSDV)
  • DSDV paper c. 1994DSDV is a table-driven routing scheme built specifically for ad hoc mobile networks.

Ad hoc On-Demand Vector routing (AODV)

Link-State Protocols







Comparisons of Protocols

Configuration Documentation

  • Quick Mesh... Coming some time
  • Commotion Wireless... Coming some time
  • How to configure DD-WRT(OLSR) to mesh-- Click "Save As" if you have trouble with the link.
  • OpenWRT... Coming Some time

If you have any documentation you want to provide, please link it on this wiki or send it to [email protected] [dot] org.

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