Using Terrain and Location Information to Improve Routing in Ad Hoc Networks
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In recent years, mobile computing has become an integral part of society. As the cost of laptops and wireless networking hardware has declined, society has become increasingly connected. High speed wireless internet access is increasingly becoming part of our daily lives. As a result of this dependence on instant access to information, there is a growing need to create wireless networks without having access to a fixed networking infrastructure. Instead of relying in fixed infrastructure, these mobile nodes can be joined to create an ad hoc network to facilitate information sharing. The ad hoc nature of these networks requires different protocols than traditional networks. This research is motivated by the observation that radio communications are greatly affected by the physical environment. In hilly or urban environments, the performance of a wireless network is much lower than in large open areas. However, MANET protocols typically consider the physical environment only when it causes a change in connectivity. We examine whether the network can estimate the physical environment and predict its impact on the network, rather than waiting to react to the physical environment. This research demonstrates the feasibility of using terrain and location information to improve routing in mobile ad hoc networks through the development of a distributed routing algorithm that uses location and digital terrain information to efficiently deliver packets in a mobile ad hoc network. Through a comprehensive set of simulations, we show that the new algorithm performs better than current MANET protocols in terms of standard metrics: delay, throughput, packet loss, and efficiency.