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Unlike wired networks, the configuration and the behavior of wireless networks are heavily dependent on many environmental factors. While this makes it more difficult to build a wireless network testbed whose behavior is controllable, it also makes the availability of such a testbed all the more desirable. Indeed, the difficulties in building a good wireless mesh testbed belie the fact that most research work on mesh network performance is backed up only by computer simulations. In this paper, the authors present a practical design philosophy in which a realistic and controllable wireless mesh network testbed is built with a relatively small deployment of physical equipments by exploiting the idea of a virtual network.
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