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Title: A cross-layer middleware architecture for time and safety critical applications in MANETs
Author: Pease, Sarogini G.
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2013
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Mobile Ad hoc Networks (MANETs) can be deployed instantaneously and adaptively, making them highly suitable to military, medical and disaster-response scenarios. Using real-time applications for provision of instantaneous and dependable communications, media streaming, and device control in these scenarios is a growing research field. Realising timing requirements in packet delivery is essential to safety-critical real-time applications that are both delay- and loss-sensitive. Safety of these applications is compromised by packet loss, both on the network and by the applications themselves that will drop packets exceeding delay bounds. However, the provision of this required Quality of Service (QoS) must overcome issues relating to the lack of reliable existing infrastructure, conservation of safety-certified functionality. It must also overcome issues relating to the layer-2 dynamics with causal factors including hidden transmitters and fading channels. This thesis proposes that bounded maximum delay and safety-critical application support can be achieved by using cross-layer middleware. Such an approach benefits from the use of established protocols without requiring modifications to safety-certified ones. This research proposes ROAM: a novel, adaptive and scalable cross-layer Real-time Optimising Ad hoc Middleware framework for the provision and maintenance of performance guarantees in self-configuring MANETs. The ROAM framework is designed to be scalable to new optimisers and MANET protocols and requires no modifications of protocol functionality. Four original contributions are proposed: (1) ROAM, a middleware entity abstracts information from the protocol stack using application programming interfaces (APIs) and that implements optimisers to monitor and autonomously tune conditions at protocol layers in response to dynamic network conditions. The cross-layer approach is MANET protocol generic, using minimal imposition on the protocol stack, without protocol modification requirements. (2) A horizontal handoff optimiser that responds to time-varying link quality to ensure optimal and most robust channel usage. (3) A distributed contention reduction optimiser that reduces channel contention and related delay, in response to detection of the presence of a hidden transmitter. (4) A feasibility evaluation of the ROAM architecture to bound maximum delay and jitter in a comprehensive range of ns2-MIRACLE simulation scenarios that demonstrate independence from the key causes of network dynamics: application setting and MANET configuration; including mobility or topology. Experimental results show that ROAM can constrain end-to-end delay, jitter and packet loss, to support real-time applications with critical timing requirements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: ESPRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Real-time ; Cross-layer ; Optimization ; MANETs ; Safety-critical ; Hard real-time