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Many applications of mobile ad hoc networks require real-time data consistency among the moving nodes within a geographical area of interest to function correctly, e.g., battlefield command and control applications. While it is operationally desirable to maintain data consistency among nodes within a large geographical area, the time required to propagate state changes to all mobile nodes in that geographical area limits its size. This paper investigates the notion of location-based data consistency in mobile ad hoc networks, and analyzes the tradeoff between data consistency and timeliness of data exchange among nodes within a location-based group in a geographical area of interest. By utilizing a Petri net performance model, we analyze performance characteristics of location-based data consistency maintenance algorithms and identify design conditions under which the system can best tradeoff consistency for timeliness (reflecting the time to propagate a state change) while satisfying the imposed data consistency requirement, when given a set of parameters characterizing the application in the underlying mobile ad hoc network environment.
Date of Conference: 7-9 July 2004