Licentiate thesis 2012-002

Measurements in Opportunistic Networks

Fredrik Bjurefors

2 March 2012


Opportunistic networks are a subset of delay tolerant networks where the contacts are unscheduled. Such networks can be formed ad hoc by wireless devices, such as mobile phones and laptops. In this work we use a data-centric architecture for opportunistic networks to evaluate data dissemination overhead, congestion in nodes' buffer, and the impact of transfer ordering. Dissemination brings an overhead since data is replicated to be spread in the network and overhead leads to congestion, i.e., overloaded buffers.

We develop and implement an emulation testbed to experimentally evaluate properties of opportunistic networks. We evaluate the repeatability of experiments in the emulated testbed that is based on virtual computers. We show that the timing variations are on the order of milliseconds.

The testbed was used to investigate overhead in data dissemination, congestion avoidance, and transfer ordering in opportunistic networks. We show that the overhead can be reduced by informing other nodes in the network about what data a node is carrying. Congestion avoidance was evaluated in terms of buffer management, since that is the available tool in an opportunistic network, to handle congestion. It was shown that replication information of data objects in the buffer yields the best results. We show that in a data-centric architecture were each data item is valued differently, transfer ordering is important to achieve delivery of the most valued data.

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