Context discovery in ad-hoc networks


Liu, Fei (2011) Context discovery in ad-hoc networks. thesis.

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Abstract:Mobile ad-hoc networks (MANETs) are more and more present in our daily life. Such networks are often composed of mobile and battery-supplied devices, like laptops and PDAs. With no requirement for infrastructure support, MANETs can be used as temporary networks, such as for conference and office environments, and for disaster areas. Limited bandwidth and battery-supplied devices in such networks require simple and efficient underlying communication protocols. One of the most fundamental actions that such devices in networks need to do is to find information about the environment they are operating in, so called context discovery. Therefore, in this thesis, we design and develop a new context discovery protocol for MANETs, which is called Ahoy.

By using attenuated Bloom filters, Ahoy reduces traffic load to discover available context information and provides directional probabilistic querying. We build an analytical model to evaluate the performance of Ahoy compared with two conventional approaches: pro-active and reactive discovery protocols, and to allow for optimization of Ahoy's parameters. The results of the analytical model are validated by simulations. We estimate the network traffic generated by Ahoy in both static and dynamic environments. We find that Ahoy requires significantly less network traffic than the other two protocols in static networks, and that it is stable in a dynamic environment in which the network topology may change.

We also study the vulnerability of Ahoy when it encounters different malicious attacks. Our analyses shows that compared with pro-active and reactive protocols, Ahoy is not more vulnerable than the other two protocols. In some cases, the use of attenuated Bloom filters can even help to protect the contents of packets up to a certain level. In case of serious risks, we propose specialized security countermeasures to enhance the network security of Ahoy.

Finally, we build a prototype of Ahoy and test it on UNIX-like platforms.

Through these analysis and studies, we conclude that the novel discovery protocol Ahoy proposed in this thesis can discover information efficiently, while generating only little network traffic, in both static and dynamic fully-distributed MANETs.
Item Type:Thesis
Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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