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Challenges and opportunities in managing maritime networks

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2 Author(s)
Kidston, D. ; Commun. Res. Centre, Ottawa, ON ; Kunz, T.

Maritime networks are one of the least studied network configurations. Such networks are composed of a number of mobile wireless nodes typical of MANETs, but also have fixed (satellite) links and are continuously powered as is typical of fixed networks. Combined, these characteristics provide unique challenges not conducive to the use of existing MANET or fixed network management techniques. Since maritime units also operate in a low-bandwidth environment with varying communications capabilities, the efficiency of network management services is critical. Similarly, the lack of power constraints and slower mobility require a less dynamic solution than that required for MANETs. This article provides an overview of the maritime network management problem space including two key management opportunities provided by such an environment. The first opportunity is in automation. Maritime networks are subject to changing operational requirements, while at the same time suffering from limited availability of skilled network operators. To rapidly respond to faults and changes in performance needs, we propose the use of a serviceoriented policy-based management architecture on which a wide variety of management services can be rapidly deployed. The second key management opportunity is resource optimization. We suggest several management services that can be used to support traffic engineering. In our simulations traffic monitoring, traffic prioritization, adaptive routing, and resource reservation services were found to provide awareness and significantly improve the timeliness of prioritized flows.

Published in:

Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 10 )

Date of Publication:

October 2008

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