The design and simulation of routing protocols for mobile ad hoc networks.
This thesis addresses a novel type of network known as a mobile ad hoc network. A mobile ad hoc network is a collection of entirely mobile nodes that can establish communication in the absence of any fixed infrastructure. Envisioned applications of these networks include virtual classrooms, emergency relief operations, military tactical communications, sensor networks and community networking. Mobile ad hoc networking poses several new challenges in the design of network protocols. This thesis focuses on the routing problem. The main challenges in the design of a routing protocol for mobile ad hoc networks result from them having limited resources and there being frequent topological changes that occur unpredictably. Moreover, there is no fixed infrastructure that supports routing. The conventional routing protocols are not generally suitable for mobile ad hoc networks, as they cannot react quickly to the changing network topology, cause excessive communication and computation, or converge very slowly creating routing loops. In this thesis we propose two classes of routing schemes for mobile ad hoc networks. The first class is known as Limited Flooding Protocol. The protocol is fully reactive and does not require the computation of routing tables. It uses some basic principles of flooding, but reduces the communication overhead by restricting packet propagation through the network. Several variations of limited flooding are considered including deterministic, randomised and priority-based mechanisms. The main advantage of this protocol is that it can be used in networks with unpredictable topological changes and highly mobile nodes, since maintaining routing table at the intermediate nodes is not required. The second class of routing protocols is based on hierarchical clustering architecture and is intended for use in a relatively low mobility environment. The basic idea of this protocol is to partition the entire network into smaller units known as clusters and define routing mechanisms both within and between clusters using a hierarchical architecture. The main advantage of this architecture is reduction of storage requirements of routing information, communication overhead and computational overhead at each node. Discrete-event simulation is used for modelling and performance evaluation. Various options and variations of the protocols are examined in the…[Page 2 of abstract is missing.]