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Title: Probabilistic route discovery for Wireless Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs)
Author: Abdulai, Jamal-deen
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2009
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Mobile wireless ad hoc networks (MANETs) have become of increasing interest in view of their promise to extend connectivity beyond traditional fixed infrastructure networks. In MANETs, the task of routing is distributed among network nodes which act as both end points and routers in a wireless multi-hop network environment. To discover a route to a specific destination node, existing on-demand routing protocols employ a broadcast scheme referred to as simple flooding whereby a route request packet (RREQ) originating from a source node is blindly disseminated to the rest of the network nodes. This can lead to excessive redundant retransmissions, causing high channel contention and packet collisions in the network, a phenomenon called a broadcast storm. To reduce the deleterious impact of flooding RREQ packets, a number of route discovery algorithms have been suggested over the past few years based on, for example, location, zoning or clustering. Most such approaches however involve considerably increased complexity requiring additional hardware or the maintenance of complex state information. This research argues that such requirements can be largely alleviated without sacrificing performance gains through the use of probabilistic broadcast methods, where an intermediate node rebroadcasts RREQ packets based on some suitable forwarding probability rather than in the traditional deterministic manner. Although several probabilistic broadcast algorithms have been suggested for MANETs in the past, most of these have focused on “pure” broadcast scenarios with relatively little investigation of the performance impact on specific applications such as route discovery. As a consequence, there has been so far very little study of the performance of probabilistic route discovery applied to the well-established MANET routing protocols. In an effort to fill this gap, the first part of this thesis evaluates the performance of the routing protocols Ad hoc On demand Distance Vector (AODV) and Dynamic Source Routing (DSR) augmented with probabilistic route discovery, taking into account parameters such as network density, traffic density and nodal mobility. The results reveal encouraging benefits in overall routing control overhead but also show that network operating conditions have a critical impact on the optimality of the forwarding probabilities. In most existing probabilistic broadcast algorithms, including the one used here for preliminary investigations, each forwarding node is allowed to rebroadcast a received packet with a fixed forwarding probability regardless of its relative location with respect to the locations of the source and destination pairs. However, in a route discovery operation, if the location of the destination node is known, the dissemination of the RREQ packets can be directed towards this location. Motivated by this, the second part of the research proposes a probabilistic route discovery approach that aims to reduce further the routing overhead by limiting the dissemination of the RREQ packets towards the anticipated location of the destination. This approach combines elements of the fixed probabilistic and flooding-based route discovery approaches. The results indicate that in a relatively dense network, these combined effects can reduce the routing overhead very significantly when compared with that of the fixed probabilistic route discovery. Typically in a MANET there are regions of varying node density. Under such conditions, fixed probabilistic route discovery can suffer from a degree of inflexibility, since every node is assigned the same forwarding probability regardless of local conditions. Ideally, the forwarding probability should be high for a node located in a sparse region of the network while relatively lower for a node located in a denser region of the network. As a result, it can be helpful to identify and categorise mobile nodes in the various regions of the network and appropriately adjust their forwarding probabilities. To this end the research examines probabilistic route discovery methods that dynamically adjust the forwarding probability at a node, based on local node density, which is estimated using number of neighbours as a parameter. Results from this study return significantly superior performance measures compared with fixed probabilistic variants. Although the probabilistic route discovery methods suggested above can significantly reduce the routing control overhead without degrading the overall network throughput, there remains the problem of how to select efficiently forwarding probabilities that will optimize the performance of a broadcast under any given conditions. In an attempt to address this issue, the final part of this thesis proposes and evaluates the feasibility of a node estimating its own forwarding probability dynamically based on locally collected information. The technique examined involves each node piggybacking a list of its 1-hop neighbours in its transmitted RREQ packets. Based on this list, relay nodes can determine the number of neighbours that have been already covered by a broadcast and thus compute the forwarding probabilities most suited to individual circumstances.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science ; QA76 Computer software