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An Empirical Evaluation of the Student-Net Delay Tolerant Network

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3 Author(s)
Jing Su ; Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto ; Ashvin Goel ; Eyal de Lara

Radio equipped mobile devices have enjoyed tremendous growth in the past few years. We observe that in the near future it might be possible to build a network that routes delay-tolerant packets by harnessing user mobility and the pervasive availability of wireless devices. Such a delay-tolerant network could be used to supplement wireless infrastructure or provide service where none is available. Since mobile devices in a delay-tolerant network forward packets to nearby users, the devices can use short-range radio, which potentially reduces device power consumption and radio contention. The design of a user mobility based delay-tolerant network raises two key challenges: determining; the connectivity of such a network, and determining the latency characteristics and replication requirements of routing algorithms in such a network. To determine realistic contact patterns, we collected user mobility data by conducting two user studies. We outfitted groups of students with instrumented wireless-enabled PDAs that logged pairwise contacts between study participants over a period of several weeks. Experiments conducted on these traces show that it is possible to form a delay-tolerant network based on human mobility. The network has good connectivity, so that routes exist between almost all study participants via some multi-hop path. Moreover, it is possible to effectively route packets with modest replication

Published in:

2006 Third Annual International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Networking & Services

Date of Conference:

July 2006