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This work focuses on Delay Tolerant Networks (DTNs) in a social network environment. DTNs do not have a complete path from a source to a destination most of the time. Previous data routing approaches in DTNs are primarily based on either flooding or single-copy routing. However, these methods incur either high overhead due to excessive transmissions or long delays due to suboptimal choices for relay nodes. Probabilistic forwarding that forwards a message to a node with a higher delivery utility enhances single-copy routing. However, current probabilistic forwarding methods only consider node contact frequency in calculating the utility while neglecting the influence of contact duration on the throughput, though both contact frequency and contact duration reflect the node movement pattern in a social network. In this paper, we theoretically prove that considering both factors leads to higher throughput than considering only contact frequency. To fully exploit a social network for high throughput and low routing delay, we propose a Social network oriented and duration utility-based distributed multicopy routing protocol (SEDUM) for DTNs. SEDUM is distinguished by three features. First, it considers both contact frequency and duration in node movement patterns of social networks. Second, it uses multicopy routing and can discover the minimum number of copies of a message to achieve a desired routing delay. Third, it has an effective buffer management mechanism to increase throughput and decrease routing delay. Theoretical analysis and simulation results show that SEDUM provides high throughput and low routing delay compared to existing routing approaches. The results conform to our expectation that considering both contact frequency and duration for delivery utility in routing can achieve higher throughput than considering only contact frequency, especially in a highly dynamic environment with large routing messages.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2013