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Most of the existing research work in mobile ad hoc networking is based on the assumption that a path exists between the sender and the receiver. On the other hand, applications of decentralised mobile systems are often characterised by network partitions. As a consequence delay tolerant networking research has received considerable attention in the recent years as a means to obviate to the gap between ad hoc network research and real applications. In this paper we present the design, implementation and evaluation of the context-aware adaptive routing (CAR) protocol for delay tolerant unicast communication in intermittently connected mobile ad hoc networks. The protocol is based on the idea of exploiting nodes as carriers of messages among network partitions to achieve delivery. The choice of the best carrier is made using Kalman filter based prediction techniques and utility theory. We discuss the implementation of CAR over an opportunistic networking framework, outlining possible applications of the general principles at the basis of the proposed approach. The large scale performance of the CAR protocol are evaluated using simulations based on a social network founded mobility model, a purely random one and real traces from Dartmouth College.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2009