Routing and Network Design in Delay Tolerant Networks
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Delay tolerant networks (DTNs) are a class of emerging networks that exhibit significantly different characteristics from today's Internet, such as intermittent connectivity, large delay, and high loss rates. DTNs have important applications in disaster relief, military, rural Internet access, environmental sensing and surveillance, interplanetary communication, underwater sensing, and vehicular communication. While not the common case for networking, DTNs represent some of the most critical cases, where the ability to communicate can make a huge difference for human lives. Supporting effective communication in DTNs, however, is challenging. First, with intermittent connectivity, DTNs are often extremely limited in capacity. Second, given resource limitations and uncertainty in DTNs, it is critical to deliver data efficiently and robustly. The situation is especially acute for multicast which sends data to multiple destinations. This thesis seeks to address these two issues. To enhance network capacity in DTNs, we propose a message ferrying scheme that exploits the use of special mobile nodes (called message ferries) and controlled device mobility to deliver data. Message ferries are utilized to transport data via mobility between sources and destinations. We develop a foundation for the control of the mobility of message ferries, and nodes if possible, to cooperatively deliver data under a variety of conditions. We also study another approach which deploys new nodes called throwboxes to enhance capacity. Throwboxes are small and inexpensive wireless devices. By relaying data between mobile nodes, throwboxes are able to create data transfer opportunities that otherwise would not exist. We systematically investigate the issues of deployment and routing, and develop algorithms for various deployment and routing approaches. Based on extensive evaluation, we obtain several findings to guide the design and operation of throwbox-augmented DTNs. To address the issue of efficient and robust data delivery, we focus on DTN multicasting. Given the unique characteristics of DTNs, traditional solutions such as IP multicast can not be simply ported to DTNs. We identify the limitations of IP multicast semantics in DTNs and define new semantic models for DTN multicast. Based on these semantic models, we develop and evaluate several multicast routing algorithms with different routing strategies.