Nodes in ad hoc networks with randomly oriented directional antenna patterns typically have fewer short links and more long links which can bridge together otherwise isolated subnetworks. This network feature is known to improve overall connectivity in 2D random networks operating at low channel path loss. To this end, we advance recently established theoretical results to obtain analytic expressions for the mean degree of 3D networks for simple but practical anisotropic gain profiles, including those of patch, dipole and end-fire array antennas. Our analysis reveals that for homogeneous systems (i.e., neglecting boundary effects) directional radiation patterns are superior to the isotropic case only when the path loss exponent is less than the spatial dimension. Moreover, we establish that ad hoc networks utilizing directional transmit and isotropic receive antennas (or vice versa) are always sub-optimally connected regardless of the environment path loss. We extend our analysis to investigate inhomogeneous systems, and study the geometrical reasons why boundary effects cause directional radiating nodes to be at a disadvantage to isotropic ones. Finally, we discuss multi-directional gain patterns consisting of many equally spaced lobes which could be used to mitigate boundary effects and improve overall network connectivity.
- Anisotropic radiation
- Wireless multihop networks