UNIT-1 Mobile Ad hoc Networking 1. Introduction Simply stating, a Mobile Ad hoc NETwork (MANET) is one that comes together as needed, not necessarily with any support from the existing Internet infrastructure or any other kind of fixed stations. We can formalize this statement by defining an ad hoc network as an autonomous system of mobile hosts (also serving as routers) connected by wireless links, the union of which forms a communication network modeled in the form of an arbitrary graph. This is in contrast to the well-known single hop cellular network model that supports the needs of wireless communication by installing base stations as access points. In these cellular networks, communications between two mobile nodes completely rely on the wired backbone and the fixed base stations. In a MANET, no such infrastructure exists and the network topology may dynamically change in an unpredictable manner since nodes are free to move. As for the mode of operation, ad hoc networks are basically peer-to-peer multihop mobile wireless networks where information packets are transmitted in a store-andforward manner from a source to an arbitrary destination, via intermediate nodes as shown in Figure 1. As the nodes move, the resulting change in network topology must be made known to the other nodes so that outdated topology information can be updated or removed. For example, as MH2 in Figure 1 changes its point of attachment from MH3 to MH4 other nodes part of the network should use this new route to forward packets to MH2. Note that in Figure 1, and throughout this text, we assume that it is not possible to have all nodes within range of each other. In case all nodes are close-by within radio range, there are no routing issues to be addressed. In real situations, the power needed to obtain complete connectivity may be, at least, infeasible, not to mention issues such as battery life. Therefore, we are interested in scenarios where only few nodes are within radio range of each other.
Figure 1 raises another issue of symmetric (bi-directional) and asymmetric (unidirectional) links. As we shall see later on, some of the protocols we discuss consider symmetric links with associative radio range, i.e., if (in Figure 1) MH1 is within radio range of MH3, then MH3 is also within radio range of MH1. This is to say that the communication links are symmetric. Although this assumption is not always valid, it is usually made because routing in asymmetric networks is a relatively hard task [Prakash 1999]. In certain cases, it is possible to find routes that could avoid asymmetric links, since it is quite likely that these links imminently fail. Unless stated otherwise, throughout this text we consider symmetric links, with all nodes having identical capabilities and responsibilities. MH2 MH2 MH4 Asymmetric link MH3 MH5 Symmetric link MH7 MH1 MH6 Figure 1 – A Mobile Ad hoc network The issue of symmetric and asymmetric links is one among the several challenges encountered in a MANET. Another important issue is that different nodes often have different mobility patterns. Some nodes are highly mobile, while others are primarily stationary. It is difficult to predict a node’s movement and pattern of movement. Table 1 summarizes some of the main characteristics [Duggirala 2000] and challenges faced in a MANET. Wireless Sensor Networks [Estrin 1999, Kahn 1999] is an emerging application area for ad hoc networks which has been receiving a large attention. The idea is that a collection of cheap to manufacture, stationary, tiny sensors would be able to sense, coordinate activities and transmit some physical characteristics about the surrounding environment to an associated base station. Once placed in a given environment, these sensors remain stationary. Furthermore, it is expected that power will be a major driving issue behind protocols tailored to these networks, since the lifetime of the battery usually defines the sensor’s lifetime. One of the most cited examples is the battlefield
surveillance of enemy’s territory wherein a large number of sensors are dropped from an airplane so that activities on the ground could be detected and communicated. Other potential commercial fields include machinery prognosis, bio sensing and environmental monitoring. This rest of this text is organized as follows. We initially provide necessary background on ad hoc networking by illustrating its diverse applications. Next, we cover the routing aspect in a MANET, considering both unicast and multicast communication. MAC issues related to a MANET are then illustrated. Following, sensor networks, its diverse applications, and associated routing protocols are discussed. Finally, we conclude this text by discussing the current standard activities at both IETF and the Bluetooth SIG, and also bringing up some open problems that have not received much attention so far and still need to be addressed. Applications of MANETs There are many applications to ad hoc networks. As a matter of fact, any dayto-day application such as electronic email and file transfer can be considered to be easily deployable within an ad hoc network environment. Web services are also possible in case any node in the network can serve as a gateway to the outside world. In this discussion, we need not emphasize the wide range of military applications possible with ad hoc networks. Not to mention, the technology was initially developed keeping in mind the military applications, such as battlefield in an unknown territory where an infrastructured network is almost impossible to have or maintain. In such situations, the ad hoc networks having self-organizing capability can be effectively used where other technologies either fail or cannot be deployed effectively. Advanced features of wireless mobile systems, including data rates compatible with multimedia applications, global roaming capability, and coordination with other network structures, are enabling new applications. Some well-known ad hoc network applications are: • Collaborative Work – For some business environments, the need for collaborative computing might be more important outside office environments than inside. After