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Topology discovery in both wired and wireless networks has been receiving increasing attention in the research community as well as the industry. Topology discovery is quite a time consuming task if it is done manually in a large network. It is more difficult in networks where the topology changes very frequently such as mobile ad hoc networks (MANET). MANET networks are complex and distributed system comprising of wireless mobile nodes that can move around freely, dynamically self-organize into arbitrary and temporary network topologies . Currently there are a number of tools available that allows network administrators to discover the network nodes automatically. However most of these tools either use PING, trace route or SNMP queries. In addition, a lot of these tools also require a range of IP addresses that can be pinged to discover the network. However in such approaches, nodes in mobile ad hoc network can consume considerable amount of power and bandwidth in transmitting and receiving data for topology discovery. We present a mobile agent based topology discovery framework that is distributed, sustainable and less resource intensive. This paper outlines our experiences of implementation of a mobile agent based topology discovery framework. We also present a comparison of performance between our framework and the more common "ANT" based topology discovery frameworks.
Date of Conference: 22-26 April 2007