An Extensible Information Dissemination Scheme over the Optimized Link State Routing Protocol for Mobile Ad Hoc Networks

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Virginia Tech


A mobile ad hoc network (MANET) is formed by a collection of self-organizing nodes. Such networks are being deployed in a variety of environments, for example to provide mission-critical services in times of crises. Nodes participating in a MANET tend to have limited energy and computing resources and depend on various network-based resources to operate as a cohesive system. The same features such as dynamic and adaptive network topologies that make MANETs powerful also make the discovery and operation of network services a challenge.

This thesis presents the design and implementation of an extensible information dissemination scheme that is integrated with the Optimized Link State Routing (OLSR) protocol to address the challenges of service discovery in mobile ad hoc networks. The thesis presents a detailed design of the information dissemination scheme based on the Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL) ProtoLib network protocol programming framework.

In the proposed scheme, a solution that separates the routing process from the NRL OLSR routing protocol was designed, thus making OLSR a topology discovery protocol. This can further facilitate the implementation of various routing algorithms based on other metrics, such as the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of wireless links or the nodes' level of cooperation, when forwarding messages in the network. Additionally, a reusable event-driven programming interface to the NRL OLSR routing protocol was designed and implemented in this research. Events are triggered based on changes in the network topology. This programming interface can be used by other management and monitoring clients on the network for receiving real-time updates about link and topology changes as seen by OLSR. A priority message delivery scheme was developed that provides different quality of service (QoS) levels for information dissemination in mobile ad hoc networks. To ensure a fair use of the transport media and support various message sizes, a message fragmentation solution was implemented.

The proposed information dissemination solution was then deployed in a real wireless ad-hoc environment for further validation and testing. Using experiments with six nodes and various test scenarios, this research verified the functionality and characterized the performance of the proposed system. It was observed that the link-state nature of information dissemination solution helped it to adapt to topology changes. It was also realized that service discovery latency after information convergence in the network was independent of the number of nodes between the service providers and clients. The experiments also confirmed that the immediate message delivery scheme provides superior quality of service to registered users in presence of radio interference and other delays caused by Multipoint Relay Nodes (MPR) message forwarding in OLSR.



Information Dissemination, OLSR, Mobile Ad-Hoc Network, MANET, Service Discovery