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An ad hoc network is a self-organized and distributed entity consisting of a number of mobile stations (MS) without the coordination of any centralized access point. Clustering is one of the fundamental problems in ad hoc networks. In this context, we describe a distributed clustering algorithm for multihop ad hoc networks. We first propose a randomized control channel broadcast access method to maximize the worst-case control channel efficiency, based on which a distributed clustering algorithm is proposed. Both theoretical analysis and simulations indicate that the proposed clustering algorithm takes much less time and overhead to cluster a given network with more stable cluster structure, while incurring very small maintenance overhead in a dynamic network resulting from the mobility of the MS.
Date of Publication: April-June 2003