Title page for ETD etd-03262004-144048

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Lin, Tao
Author's Email Address taolin@vt.edu
URN etd-03262004-144048
Title Mobile Ad-hoc Network Routing Protocols: Methodologies and Applications
Degree PhD
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Midkiff, Scott F. Committee Chair
DaSilva, Luiz A. Committee Member
Davis, Nathaniel J. IV Committee Member
Jacobs, Ira Committee Member
Koelling, Charles Patrick Committee Member
  • Emulation
  • Connected dominating set
  • Simulation
  • Framework
  • Relay node set
  • Routing
  • Mobile Ad-hoc Network
Date of Defense 2004-03-19
Availability unrestricted
A mobile ad hoc network (MANET) is a wireless network that uses multi-hop peerto-

peer routing instead of static network infrastructure to provide network connectivity.

MANETs have applications in rapidly deployed and dynamic military and civilian systems.

The network topology in a MANET usually changes with time. Therefore, there are

new challenges for routing protocols in MANETs since traditional routing protocols may

not be suitable for MANETs. For example, some assumptions used by these protocols are

not valid in MANETs or some protocols cannot efficiently handle topology changes.

Researchers are designing new MANET routing protocols and comparing and improving

existing MANET routing protocols before any routing protocols are standardized

using simulations. However, the simulation results from different research groups

are not consistent with each other. This is because of a lack of consistency in MANET

routing protocol models and application environments, including networking and user

traffic profiles. Therefore, the simulation scenarios are not equitable for all protocols and

conclusions cannot be generalized. Furthermore, it is difficult for one to choose a proper

routing protocol for a given MANET application.

According to the aforementioned issues, my Ph.D. research focuses on MANET

routing protocols. Specifically, my contributions include the characterization of differ-

ent routing protocols using a novel systematic relay node set (RNS) framework, design

of a new routing protocol for MANETs, a study of node mobility, including a quantitative

study of link lifetime in a MANET and an adaptive interval scheme based on

a novel neighbor stability criterion, improvements of a widely-used network simulator

and corresponding protocol implementations, design and development of a novel emulation

test bed, evaluation of MANET routing protocols through simulations, verification

of our routing protocol using emulation, and development of guidelines for one to choose

proper MANET routing protocols for particular MANET applications.

Our study shows that reactive protocols do not always have low control overhead,

as people tend to think. The control overhead for reactive protocols is more sensitive

to the traffic load, in terms of the number of traffic flows, and mobility, in terms of link

connectivity change rates, than other protocols. Therefore, reactive protocols may only

be suitable for MANETs with small number of traffic loads and small link connectivity

change rates. We also demonstrated that it is feasible to maintain full network topology

in a MANET with low control overhead. This dissertation summarizes all the aforementioned

methodologies and corresponding applications we developed concerning MANET

routing protocols.

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