Cross-Layer MAC Enabling Virtual Link for Multi-Hop Routing in Wireless Ad Hoc Networks

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Efficient routing is a fundamental issue in multi-hop wireless ad hoc networks. In this paper, the authors study the limitation of traditional routing structure in multi-hop wireless ad hoc networks due to the layered structure of a wireless protocol stack and the lack of coordination between Medium Access Control (MAC) and routing protocols. These limitations result in long processing delays in a relay/forwarding node. In order to alleviate these issues, they propose a solution based on cross-layer MAC design, which improves the coordination between MAC and routing layers using an idea they call "Virtual link".