The topology of wireless communication

Erez Kantor, Zvi Lotker, Merav Parter, David Peleg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This article studies the topological properties of wireless communication maps and their usability in algorithmic design. We consider the SINR model, which compares the received power of a signal at a receiver against the sum of strengths of other interfering signals plus background noise. To describe the behavior of a multistation network, we use the convenient representation of a reception map, which partitions the plane into reception zones, one per station, and the complementary region of the plane where no station can be heard. SINR diagrams have been studied in Avin et al. [2009] for the specific case where all stations use the same power. It was shown that the reception zones are convex (hence connected) and fat, and this was used to devise an efficient algorithm for the fundamental problem of point location. Here we consider the more general (and common) case where transmission energies are arbitrary (or nonuniform). Under that setting, the reception zones are not necessarily convex or even connected. This poses the algorithmic challenge of designing efficient point location techniques for the nonuniform setting, as well as the theoretical challenge of understanding the geometry of SINR diagrams (e.g., the maximal number of connected components they might have). Our key result exhibits a striking contrast between d- and (d+ 1)-dimensional maps for a network embedded in d-dimensional space. Specifically, it is shown that whereas the d-dimensional map might be highly fractured, drawing the map in one dimension higher "heals" the zones, which become connected (in fact, hyperbolically connected). We also provide bounds for the fatness of reception zones. Subsequently, we consider algorithmic applications and propose a new variant of approximate point location.

Original languageEnglish
Article number37
JournalJournal of the ACM
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 ACM 0004-5411/2015/10-ART32 15.00.


  • Convexity
  • Networks
  • Point-location
  • SINR
  • Weighted voronoi diagram


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