T X's Junkyard – BATMAN V Extensions

The new BATMAN V implementation is a simple and clean implementation of the general BATMAN routing concept. Although being simpler it still offers less overhead and generally faster convergence times.

This page contains a list of potential improvements to reduce convergence times even further (and by that allowing higher intervals which in turn reduces overhead). They are backwards compatible to the current, simple BATMAN V protocol.

Suggested milestones named "Mach 1" to "Mach 3".

BATMAN V, Mach 1

ak. "BATMAN V simple"

BATMAN V, Mach 2

Sequence Number Polling

A reactive mechanism can allow to drastically lower the periodic OGM intervals. Just like BABEL already does, we can poll for newer sequence numbers upon detecting broken links to be able to change to alternative routes faster.

For BATMAN this was first sketched on the MGO page and is currently work in progress under the name RIP.

Potential Router List / Store & Delayed Forward Mechanism ("OGM on hold")

In a mesh network with low packet loss (at least for OGMs), BATMAN V will ideally converge to its optimum within one sequence number. However, for the worst case the current, simple BATMAN V algorithm may need an amount of sequence numbers relative to the diameter of the mesh to converge.

Whether the ideal or worst case applies depends on the latency: The best case happens if an OGM of a given sequence number first travels over the path that got worse but so far was the best, selected one. And the same OGM/seqno travels over the path that would become the newly best path afterwards. In the worst case however the reverse happens and each node along the alternative path will need another sequence number to switch.

The idea of a ''Potential Router List'' will allow to always converge within one sequence number in a low-loss-OGM case:

Nodes which receive an OGM with a new sequence number from a neighbor other than their currently selected one, will be ''kept on-hold'' instead of being dropped - such a neighbor is kept as a ''potential router''. Once the ''bad news'' arrives via the currently selected neighbor and got processed, the hold OGM can processed further and the potential router selected. Finally the previously hold OGM can be safely forwarded and propagated further along the alternative path.

TODO: Draw and explain an example. Easy one would be "The circle, I" from the BATMAN V test examples, but with a link becoming worse on the selected path instead of one node failing completely. Upper path has a latency greater than the alternative, bottom one.

Forwarding OGMs via unicast

To achieve the low-loss-OGM case to utilize the "Potential Router List" described above as best as possible, OGMs should be forwarded to neighbors via unicast.

BATMAN V, Mach 3

Weaker Feasibility Conditions

TODO: Do weaker feasibility conditions actually enhance anything right now? Or would it only help if we wanted to react to link changes without needing a new seqno/RIP?

A feasibility condition ensures that accepting an OGM / route update does not create a loop. While the current feasibility condition in BATMAN V to accept a route only if it has either a newer sequence number or, alternatively, the same sequence number and a better metric is a safe choice. However feasibility conditions with a quicker convergence time exist.

The weaker (= better) the feasibility condition is, the more likely we can switch to an alternative route without having to wait for the next sequence number.

A weaker feasibility condition allows us to not only

One such slightly better condition is described in the BABEL RFC and talks.

Furthermore the TTL could be added to the feasibility condition too.

(Maybe the address of the last n nodes the OGM went through plus the throughput the OGM had before these two nodes - if we are not part of these n nodes we can check feasibility with the throughput of the OGM before these n nodes)

BATMAN V, Mach 1.5?

After "Mach 1" we have a clean and simple BATMAN V algorithm within the kernel for easy, out-of-the-box use. It would be relatively easy to port that to userspace now. Before growing the kernel size yet again, maybe we should reconsider implementing a userspace daemon for the BATMAN V algorithm and its extensions now?

For instance next to the routing algorithm options "BATMAN IV" and "BATMAN V" configurable via sysfs another option named "external"? A userspace daemon would then be allowed to set arbitrary layer 2 routes within the kernel module through netlink.

This should make it easier to test and validate BATMAN V (for instance in simulations or with gdb, valgrind etc.) and easier to extend. And should be easier for others (researchers etc.) to experiment with.

Currently we have many data structures shared and accessible through several submodules / features in batman-adv. This, right now, makes it very hard to debug the current kernel panics. Having a separate userspace daemon for the unicast routing algorithm and a clean API to the kernel module would allow us to eliminate the userspace code from causing any kernel panics (separation of concerns).