Open Access

Intelligent Broadcasting in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks: Three Classes of Adaptive Protocols

EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking20062007:010216

https://doi.org/10.1155/2007/10216

Received: 10 February 2006

Accepted: 16 August 2006

Published: 28 November 2006

Abstract

Because adaptability greatly improves the performance of a broadcast protocol, we identify three ways in which machine learning can be applied to broadcasting in a mobile ad hoc network (MANET). We chose broadcasting because it functions as a foundation of MANET communication. Unicast, multicast, and geocast protocols utilize broadcasting as a building block, providing important control and route establishment functionality. Therefore, any improvements to the process of broadcasting can be immediately realized by higher-level MANET functionality and applications. While efficient broadcast protocols have been proposed, no single broadcasting protocol works well in all possible MANET conditions. Furthermore, protocols tend to fail catastrophically in severe network environments. Our three classes of adaptive protocols are pure machine learning, intra-protocol learning, and inter-protocol learning. In the pure machine learning approach, we exhibit a new approach to the design of a broadcast protocol: the decision of whether to rebroadcast a packet is cast as a classification problem. Each mobile node (MN) builds a classifier and trains it on data collected from the network environment. Using intra-protocol learning, each MN consults a simple machine model for the optimal value of one of its free parameters. Lastly, in inter-protocol learning, MNs learn to switch between different broadcasting protocols based on network conditions. For each class of learning method, we create a prototypical protocol and examine its performance in simulation.

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Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Colorado School of Mines

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Copyright

© Michael D. Colagrosso 2007

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.