Abstract: Mesh networks are a potential solution for providing communication infrastructure in an emergency. They can be rapidly deployed by first responders in the wake of a major disaster to augment an existing wireless or wired network. We imagine a mesh node with multiple radios embedded in each emergency vehicle arriving at the site to form the backbone of a mobile wireless mesh. The ability of such a mesh network to monitor itself, diagnose faults and anticipate problems are essential features for its sustainable operation. Typical SNMP-based centralized solutions introduce a single point of failure and are unsuitable for managing such a network. Mesh-Mon is a decentralized monitoring and management system designed for such a mobile, rapidly-deployed, unplanned mesh network and works independently of the underlying mesh routing protocol. Mesh-Mon nodes are designed to actively cooperate and use localized algorithms to predict, detect, diagnose and resolve network problems in a scalable manner. Mesh-Mon is independent of the underlying routing protocol and can operate even if the mesh routing protocol completely fails. A novel aspect of our approach is that we employ mobile users of the mesh, running software called Mesh-Mon-Ami to ferry management packets between physically-disconnected partitions in a delay-tolerant network manner. The main contributions of this paper are the design, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive monitoring and management architecture that helps a network administrator proactively identify, diagnose and resolve a range of issues that can occur in a dynamic mesh network. In experiments on Dart-Mesh, our 16-node indoor mesh testbed, we found Mesh-Mon to be effective in quickly diagnosing and resolving a variety of problems with high accuracy, without adding significant management overhead.
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