Multicasting Vs. Broadcasting: What Are the Trade-Offs?
Network-wide broadcasting and multicasting are two important routing schemes used in group communications. In network-wide broadcasting, generated packets at the source node are distributed to all nodes in the network, while multicasting delivers the packets only to a subset of the nodes by creating and maintaining a data dissemination structure. Due to the overhead in multicasting, in certain situations, it is more efficient to use network-wide broadcasting instead of multicasting, even when the data is destined to a subset of the nodes. In this paper the authors analyze a specific broadcasting protocol and a specific multicasting protocol for two performance metrics, namely spectrum efficiency and energy efficiency, and determine the conditions that make one of them preferable over the other.