A framework for performance analysis of geographic delay-tolerant routing
© Kuiper et al; licensee Springer. 2012
Received: 8 October 2011
Accepted: 30 May 2012
Published: 30 May 2012
A major tool used for evaluating routing protocols in ad hoc and delay-tolerant networks is simulation. Whereas the results from simulations give good insights, they are limited to the specific scenario set-up that is used. If the scenario changes, new and often time-consuming simulations have to be run. Moreover, the simulation time in packet-level simulators with fairly realistic physical layer implementation, such as ns-2, generally grows rapidly in the number of nodes. This practically limits the number of nodes in a simulation, even if the limit can be extended by the use of simulation federations. Larger scenarios can also be facilitated by the use of more abstraction in the physical layer; abstractions that may impact the validity of the results. In this article, we present the forward-wait framework--a mathematical model describing the packet movements for opportunistic geographic delay-tolerant routing protocols. By describing packet movements as a sequence of alternating forwarding and waiting phases, the framework can accurately predict the routing performance. Key input parameters to the framework are random variables describing the forwarding and waiting phases. We show how the properties of the random variables can be derived, both via abstract modeling and small scale ns-2 simulation data. The model is then used to demonstrate the prediction capabilities of the framework in providing results that are close to the (much slower) packet-level simulations.
Keywordsgeographic routing analysis routing performance delay-tolerant networks opportunistic routing
Simulation is the most common method for evaluating routing protocols in infrastructure-free wireless communication networks. Using detailed network modeling, simulation enables us to examine the performance of routing protocols without incurring the high costs associated with practical experiments. However, with high fidelity simulations, the simulation time grows rapidly with the number of nodes. Scaling up simulations in terms of number of nodes typically requires the use of a more abstract physical layer or simulation federations.
Instead of relying on a simulator to provide routing performance, we propose the forward-wait mathematical framework to provide key performance properties of geographic routing protocols. The framework is suitable for intermittently connected mobile ad hoc networks (IC-MANETs) where the routing consists of alternating forwarding and waiting phases. In the forwarding phase, a packet is forwarded towards the destination by a partial path, and in the waiting phase a packet is stored at a node awaiting the formation of a new partial path that can forward the packet further towards the destination. The model is applicable to all protocols characterized by alternating forwarding and waiting phases. As an example, we use the Location-Aware Routing for Delay-tolerant networks (LAROD)  for numerical performance evaluation.
For opportunistic delay-tolerant networks (DTNs), the inter contact time (ICT) model [2–4] is the most widely used approach for mathematical characterization. The ICT model describes the time between node encounters. This works well for very sparse networks with unguided or random routing protocols. The ICT model is intrinsically limited to forwarding packets at the start of an encounter, and multi-hop partial paths are not a component of the model. If the network density is high enough for nodes to form connected islands (partitions), and a routing protocol tailored for such topologies is used, the ICT model is not suitable for describing the routing. The reason is that the model does not describe the routing options within a partition; that is, the possibility to route to nodes currently reachable through an encountered node.
The forward-wait framework models the movement of a packet as a sequence of alternating forwarding and waiting phases. A packet is forwarded towards the destination as far as the topology allows it within a partition. When the packet reaches the edge of the partition, it waits until node movements have restructured the topology in such a way that forwarding becomes possible again in a newly formed partition. In order to deal with a large multiplicity of network scenarios and mobility factors, we describe each phase using random variables.
For the forwarding phase and the waiting phase, respectively, we model the distance a packet moves towards (the presumed location of) the destination until it has to wait, and the time a packet has to wait before the next forwarding opportunity arises. The characteristics of the forwarding and waiting random variables depend on both node mobility and the routing protocol. It is thus important to correctly establish the properties of the random variables to obtain accurate predictions from the framework. A feature of the framework is that the characteristics of the forwarding and waiting phases can be derived from multiple sources: models, small scale simulations, or practical data.
We can combine the models of the forwarding and waiting phases to determine the packet delivery probability as a function of source-destination distance and maximum allowed delivery time (time-to-live, TTL). By adding a description of the Euclidian distance from the source to the destination for a given scenario, the packet delivery ratio can be computed for any given value of the TTL parameter. Alternatively, an appropriate TTL can be set to satisfy a given delivery probability. These results are provided more efficiently by the framework than by running packet-level simulations.
A general framework for analysis of geographical routing protocols in opportunistic DTNs with locally connected partitions.
Two methods to derive the characteristics of forwarding and waiting phases: (1) abstract mobility and routing models, and (2) actual simulation data for arbitrary mobility models and geographic delay-tolerant routing protocols.
An illustration of the application of the framework, which includes deriving the forwarding and waiting properties for the pheromone reconnaissance mobility model and the LAROD routing protocol .
The article is organized as follows. The next section relates our work to other proposed models for routing analysis in opportunistic DTNs. The main contribution, the forward-wait framework, is presented in Section 3. This is followed by deriving the properties of the forwarding and waiting phases in Section 4. In Section 5, the mathematical framework is validated against simulation results. Section 6 discusses the validity of the assumptions made by the model. In Section 7, we illustrate how the forward-wait framework can be used. Finally, the article ends with concluding remarks in Section 8.
2. Related studies
The benefit of using partial paths in IC-MANETs has formally been proven by Heimlicher et al. . Under some simple and reasonable assumptions, they have shown that the forward-wait paradigm will outperform end-to-end forwarding. While their results do not provide mechanisms to predict the routing performance, they confirm the intuition that partial paths should be used by routing protocols in IC-MANETs.
For predicting routing performance in DTNs, the most commonly used model is the ICT model. The ICT model describes when nodes encounter each other and are capable of exchanging data. Combined by a description of the routing protocol and the properties of the node encounter time, routing performance can be predicted. The two most commonly used metrics to describe the node encounter time are the inter-meeting time and the next encounter time. The inter-meeting time is the time between encounters of two specified nodes, and the next encounter time specifies when a node next encounters any other node. It is very common to characterize these encounter times using exponentially distributed random variables. It has been shown that, for several popular synthetic mobility models, assuming exponential distributions is indeed a reasonable choice [6, 7]. Examples of analyses using exponential distributions are those by Spyropoulos et al. , Small and Haas , Groenevelt et al. , and Resta and Santi .
The exponential distribution has been contended by Chaintreau et al.  in a study of actual encounter data from humans carrying mobile devices. They have found that the encounter distributions exhibit a power law distribution with a coefficient less than one. The work has been continued by Karagiannis et al. . They showed that the power law distribution is only valid up to a certain time after which the distribution decays exponentially. The power law distribution with exponentially decaying tail can also be found in some synthetic mobility models [10–12]. Another perspective on the ICT distributions comes from Zhang et al.  who have studied encounter properties in a network of scheduled buses. One important observation they made was that the delivery delays between bus pairs can differ quite significantly. The forward-wait model proposed in this article has a waiting component similar to the delay distributions used in ICT analyses, and for our illustrative scenario we have found that the wait distribution has an exponentially decaying tail.
An extension of the ICT model has been presented by Resta and Santi . In their framework, they compute the distribution of the packet delivery delay, not only the expected mean. While this is a result similar to the one we present, their analysis is limited to very sparse systems where the ICT model assumptions hold. An additional characteristic of their framework is that they analyze monotone relaying schemes, i.e., once a node has received a copy of the packet it will keep a copy until the packet reaches the destination.
Due to the discrete nature of the ICT model, its application in large systems is computationally complex. To overcome this problem, Zhang et al.  have proposed to model the routing using ordinary differential equation, and Altman et al.  have proposed to describe packet spreading among nodes using a fluid model. Both approaches study epidemic and limited epidemic schemes. This means that, for a single-copy routing protocol, such as the one we consider, these models are not suitable. Additionally, our approach is to provide the option to use a detailed analysis of small-scale scenarios as a foundation to enable the analysis of large systems.
The above works have provided an analysis of how long time it takes to reach the destination, an outcome that analysis with the forward-wait framework also provides. In addition to the delivery delay, an analysis of geographic routing protocols can also study the time-distance relationship in packet forwarding. For this, Jacquet et al.  have presented an upper bound on the information propagation speed in very sparse networks. While we use the time-distance relationship in our analysis, the results by Jacquet et al. cannot be used since we describe systems with significantly higher node densities.
The assumption of sparse network is, in fact, a major limitation of the previously described models. With this assumption, connected groups of nodes are not taken into account. If the node movements and node density are such that nodes normally do have neighbors, then these models are not appropriate for predicting routing performance. A concept that accounts for connected partitions and non-uniform node mobility is delay expansion, introduced by Asplund . Delay expansion enables us to determine bounds on worst-case latency for a wide class of broadcast protocols. The key idea is to describe the least number of uninformed nodes that will meet an informed node during the time period of interest. By having the number of informed nodes as a function parameter, non-uniform mobility can be handled. However, the results in  are not directly applicable to unicast routing.
When location information is available many works attempt to optimize network connectivity by actively adapting transmission power. Some research within the area of MANET topology control focuses on mathematical studies that trade-off the degree of connectivity against energy efficiency (interested reader may refer to a survey by Santi on the topic ). This is a different problem compared to the one addressed in this article, where we focus on studies of delivery probability towards a given distance and within a given time using some abstraction of node mobility and routing.
3. The forward-wait framework
Only one copy of a packet is routed at any time.
The delivery latency is dominated by the waiting time, and thus the forwarding time can be neglected.
Packet movement is dominated by the forwarding, and thus in the waiting phase, packet movement due to node mobility can be neglected.
In Section 6, we will discuss the validity of these assumptions. There we will show the impact of violations of these assumptions, and that the impact can be compensated for to some extent. The reason to defer the discussion until then is the need for delay and forwarding data for the purpose of determining the impact of the assumptions.
Key notation and terms
Random variable describing the reduction of distance to the destination during the first forwarding phase, if the packet could be forwarded immediately when it was generated
Random variable describing the reduction of distance to the destination at the n th forwarding phase after waiting, if the packet could be forwarded immediately when it was generated
Random variable describing the reduction of distance to the destination at the n th forwarding phase after waiting, if the packet had to wait at the source before forwarding
Random variable that with 100% probability takes the value 0
Random variable describing the reduction of distance to the destination after n forwarding phases, if the packet could be forwarded immediately when it was generated
Random variable describing the reduction of distance to the destination after n forwarding phases, if the packet had to wait at the source before forwarding
Random variable describing the time that a packet is in the n th waiting phase until it can be forwarded
Random variable describing the time that a packet has waited after n waiting phases
Random variable describing how much a packet has reduced the distance to the destination at time t
Random variable describing the time taken to reach distance d from the source
Random variable describing if there was an initial wait or not. Swi = 1 if there was an initial wait and 0 if there was no initial wait
S w (t)
Random variable describing the index number of the current wait phase at time t, assuming that the packet was forwarded immediately when it was generated
S' w (t)
Random variable describing the index number of the current wait phase at time t, assuming that the packet had to wait at the source before forwarding
S fi (d)
Random variable describing the index number of the current forwarding phase when the packet has reduced the distance to the destination by d, assuming that the packet could be forwarded immediately when it was generated
S fw (d)
Random variable describing the index number of the current forwarding phase when the packet has reduced the distance to the destination by d, assuming that the packet had to wait at the source before forwarding
Probability that the expression expr is true
P fi (d, n)
Probability of being in the n th forwarding phase when the packet has reduced the distance to the destination by d (measured from the source), assuming that the packet could be forwarded immediately when it was generated
P fw (d, n)
Probability of being in the n th forwarding phase when the packet has reduced the distance to the destination by d (measured from the source), assuming that the packet had to wait at the source before forwarding
P w (t, n)
Probability of being in the n th waiting phase at time t
P d (t, d)
Probability of delivery of a packet within time t to a destination at a distance d from the source
Probability that a packet has to wait before it can be forwarded from the source
The forthcoming sections will be devoted to deriving the properties of the forwarding and waiting random variables in a given context, and validating the model using simulation data. In addition, we will show how P d (t, d) can be used in a practical application of the framework.
4. Characterizing forwarding and waiting
In order to use the framework presented in Section 3 for estimating the routing performance with a given mobility model and routing protocol, we need a description of the properties of the random variables for forwarding and waiting. We explore two alternatives: (1) using abstract models for mobility and routing in Section 4.2, and (2) using data from a protocol simulation, i.e., LAROD ns-2 simulations , in Section 4.3.
The first alternative is useful if the properties of a mobile scenario and routing protocol are well known and can be modeled. The second alternative can capture the distributions of any routing protocol and mobility scenario, including protocols for which the characteristics are not well known. For illustration of the process of creating the abstract model based on a known mobility and routing algorithm, we use the knowledge about LAROD routing protocol, the characteristics of which will briefly be described in Section 4.1.
In ad hoc wireless networks, distances have little meaning, unless the range capabilities of the chosen radio technology are also specified. For this reason, we have chosen to express distance in the nominal radio range. Moreover, we will treat node densities by the average node degree. The average node degree, c, is the average number of nodes per area covered by the nominal radio range, defined as ρπr2, where ρ is the average node density and r is the nominal radio range. For Poisson distributed nodes in an infinitely large system, the average node degree equals the average expected number of neighbors of a node .
4.1. Abstract mobility and routing model
In this section, we detail the mobility and routing models that will be used in Section 4.2 to derive the model-based forwarding and waiting properties. The model is intended to capture the mobility and routing in the LAROD ns-2 simulations used in Section 4.3, but still be manageable so that using the model is significantly simpler than using simulations.
4.1.1. Poisson-based mobility
For the abstract mobility model, we choose the Poisson distribution  to describe the statistical distribution of the nodes. The Poisson distribution describes the statistical location properties of independent nodes that are equally likely to be in all locations in an infinite space. The choice of using Poisson distribution is justified by three reasons. First, it is a commonly used abstraction and mathematically attractive. Second, it is a reasonable simplification of the pheromone mobility model that we have used in the ns-2 simulations. Third, it describes the location properties of nodes in some commonly used synthetic mobility models [20, 21].
The Poisson distribution only describes how the nodes are statistically distributed, not how they move. To derive the properties of the waiting phase, we need to characterize how the nodes move during a limited time period. To this end, we assume that the nodes move independently at a common constant speed, and that for short time periods the movements can be regarded rectilinear. The common constant speed reflects the speed used in the LAROD ns-2 simulations.
Modeling geographic forwarding
Terms in custodian selection
fa(X c → X d )
Forwarding area for a custodian at Xc and destination at Xd
Nominal radio range
Minimum-required progress. The parameter is set to 0.04r
Two-dimensional Euclidian position
Position of the current custodian
Position of the destination
Position of node n
Position of the next custodian
Framework inputs based on models
In this section, we will derive the properties for the forwarding and waiting random variables based on the mobility and forwarding models described in Section 4.1. The random variables will be described using distributions . To describe the probability density function (pdf) and cumulative distribution function (cdf) we use the notations pdf(X, x) and cdf(X, x) where X is a random variable and x is the value of the random variable. To see the impact of node density, we will evaluate four different node densities within a relevant range.
Forwarding distribution based on models
Even for the ideal disk-based transmission model, determining the forwarding distribution analytically for Poisson distributed nodes is unfortunately too complex to be practically tractable. For details, please see Appendix 1. For this reason, we have derived the forwarding cdfs using Monte Carlo simulation.
For determining the reduction of distance to the destination that a packet achieves while approaching the destination from the source (L), the Monte Carlo simulation is set up as follows. A number of nodes drawn from a Poisson distribution are placed in a rectangular area. The area is large enough so that at most 0.1% of the packets will reach the area boundary. Each node's coordinate is set randomly following a rectangular distribution. A packet is sent towards a destination located infinitely far away, and the forwarding progress, measured along the line connecting the source and destination, is determined. Custodian selection is performed according to (10), until an empty forwarding area is encountered.
Probability of having an initially empty forwarding area
Avg. node degree c
P wi (%)
When the packet is forwarded to the edge of a partition, it has to wait until further forwarding can take place. When at least one node enters the forwarding area this wait ends, and forwarding can continue. The property of this forwarding will not be the same as the forwarding experienced by the source node when the packet was generated. The reason is that a custodian candidate in the forwarding area after a wait will be found close to the edge of the current custodian's forwarding area. This is due to the fact that the node movements are small during a retry interval compared to the size of the forwarding area. We will see that this will have significant implications for the forwarding distribution.
The Monte Carlo simulations used to determine the distance forwarded after a wait (L n , L' n ) are set up similar to the ones used for analyzing packet forwarding from the source (L). A simulation run starts by placing a number of nodes, drawn from a Poisson distribution, in a rectangular area. Searching through the nodes, the first node having an empty forwarding area is selected to be the custodian of a packet. If no node with an empty forwarding area exists, the simulation run is aborted. Provided that a custodian is found, the next step is to move all the nodes (including the custodian) in random directions with a distance randomly selected to correspond to the retry interval employed between forward attempts (in the abstract model we have used the same interval, 8-12 s, as in LAROD ns-2 simulations). If a node has entered the forwarding area after the retry interval, the forwarded distance of the packet is recorded; otherwise the simulation run is discarded.
Waiting distribution based on models
For P f (t), we note that it is zero at t = 0 and equals P wi as t approaches infinity. Therefore, P f (t) is expected to have an exponential-type shape. Since we are only interested in P f (t) when pdf(R, t) is non-zero, a linear approximation is considered. An analysis of the data points used to establish P f (t) has shown that this is a reasonable approximation over the relevant interval.
Average probability of forwarding after a retry interval
Avg. node degree c
t= 8 (%)
t= 12 (%)
Notation and terms in deriving distributions for the waiting phase
Probability that a forward attempt is successful
P f (t)
Probability that a forward attempt at time t is successful
Probability that a forward attempt fails
Random variable describing the waiting time of the n th failed forward attempt
Random variable describing the waiting time of n failed forward attempts
Random variable describing the waiting time for a successful forward attempt after n-1 failed attempts
Random variable describing the waiting time if the n th forward attempt is successful
Random variable describing time to the next transmission attempt
Random variable describing the index number of the wait attempt when a packet was successfully forwarded
Distributions from ns-2 data
In this section, we present the alternative approach to deriving probability distributions for the framework for an arbitrary protocol and mobility model, provided that some detailed simulation traces are available. As an example, we compute numerically the forwarding and waiting distributions from ns-2 simulations of LAROD under the pheromone reconnaissance mobility model. The idea is to compare the results to the distributions derived in the previous section, in which mobility and routing are modeled more abstractly. We do not expect that the results will match each other perfectly due to the following reasons. First, the ns-2 simulator has a more realistic radio model. Second, the pheromone reconnaissance mobility model does not produce Poisson distributed nodes. Third, the location of a destination is assumed to be known in the abstract model, i.e., a perfect location service is assumed in our derivation of the distributions. This is however not the case in the ns-2 simulations.
Forwarding distribution based on simulations
Extracting forwarding distributions from simulation traces calls for some methodological considerations, because distance measurements in the simulations can only provide finite values. The consequence of a finite distance is that a packet might reach its destination during a forwarding operation, and in this case it is impossible to tell how much further the forwarding could have continued. Consider a packet transmitted by its custodian. If the packet reaches the edge of the partition before reaching its destination, the simulation data give relevant distance information for deriving the distributions. On the other hand, if the packet reaches the destination, then one cannot tell how much further it could have been forwarded. To limit the impact of this issue when establishing the simulation-based cdf(L, d), cdf(L n , d), and cdf(L' n , d), we only consider simulation data where forwarding takes place to destinations for which the distance from the custodian is above a pre-defined threshold. Thus, the computed forwarding distribution will be representative for the true distribution up to the distance threshold. A problem with setting a high distance threshold is that the number of data points available for establishing the distribution becomes very low. For the LAROD ns-2 simulations, a distance threshold of 5 radio radii is used. In order to obtain a smooth distribution over this value, we apply an extrapolation technique.
A second issue in deriving forwarding distributions via simulations is packet duplication. This can happen due to LAROD routing logic, e.g., when a custodian forwards the same packet to two nodes that are not within the radio range of each other. To deal with the issue, the consideration is limited to the copy that has reached furthest towards the destination. In the LAROD simulations, the average node degree equals 3.93. Throughout the article, the data extracted from simulations are based on a TTL value of 1,000 s.
The lower ccdf curves from LAROD ns-2 compared to those derived for Poisson distributed nodes reveals lower average forwarding distance. Consequently, more waiting phases are required before the destination is reached. Whether or not this means a longer delivery time depends on the characteristics of waiting — an aspect that we will study in the next section.
Waiting distribution based on simulations
5. Validation of the framework
Having presented the forward-wait framework in Section 3, and its parameters in terms of random variables in Section 4, we are now in a position to evaluate the validity of the framework. We compare the predictions by the framework to those given by LAROD ns-2 simulations, and if they are reasonably similar we conclude that the framework accurately can predict the routing performance. While this only proves that the framework can predict the routing performance for this specific case, it strengthens our belief that its use can be extended to previously unexplored scenario configurations.
For the framework, we consider both the model-based input from Section 4.2 and the simulation-based input from Section 4.3. Due to the difference between the two sources of input, the routing performance predictions should somewhat differ. What we hope, however, is that when simulation-based input is used, the predictions by the framework come close to the simulation results. Differences in the results, if any, should originate from the assumptions made in the framework and data extraction issues.
We need a final part of the puzzle before the framework predictions can be compared to the simulation results. The output from the ns-2 simulations is the packet delivery ratio for various maximum packet life times, whereas the output from the forward-wait framework is the probability that a packet has reached a destination located at distance d from the source within time t. To make them comparable, we need a description of source-destination distance. This aspect is addressed first, followed by results of the comparison.
Distance to destination
The source-destination distance differs for each packet. This variation will be described by the random variable Y. We determine properties of Y along two lines, one based on a mathematical description of the source and destination locations, and the other based on LAROD ns-2 simulations.
In the mathematical description, we assume that the nodes are evenly and independently distributed in a square area. Denoting the side length of the area by k, the density function of Y follows (23). For the derivation of the equation, the reader is referred to Appendix 2.
Two major observations follow from the figure: (1) the predicted delivery ratio can differ significantly, depending on the type of input, and (2) providing the framework with key input parameters from simulations leads to highly accurate predictions of the delivery performance. The remaining gap can be attributed to simplifications made in the framework, and the fact that it is difficult to estimate long forwarding chains and delays from the simulation data, as described earlier in Section 4.3.
The first observation illustrates the importance of using a relevant data source when predicting routing performance. Assuming idealistic conditions, predictions become too optimistic in comparison to the simulation results, even though the latter may not necessarily represent real-world performance.
Distance and time predictions
In addition to validating the model in terms of the final delivery ratio, it is also of interest to validate the distance and time distributions predicted by Equations (7) and (8) against data from the LAROD ns-2 simulations. From the simulations, it is easy to extract how far a packet has traveled from the source at some specific time, as well as at the time taken for achieving a given reduction in the distance to packet destination. The measurements are however performed only for packets that have not yet been delivered to their destinations. For the time for having reached a distance from the source (Equation 8), the data from the simulations can directly be compared to the predictions made by the forward-wait framework. The reason for this is that while we cannot extract data for packets having reached their destinations before the measurement point, all packets have the same distribution regarding time of passing the measurement point.
The direct validation of Equation (7) is not possible due to the following reason. In practical, simulations packets are delivered to their destinations, and if a packet reaches its destination before the time used for measurement, data for that packet cannot be gathered. Thus, we only measure packets for which the following is true, X(t) < Y - r, where Y is the distance to destination, and r is the radio range. As in the previous section, we assume that when a packet is within radio range of the destination, the last hop is a guaranteed success.
From the results in this and the previous section, we conclude that the forward-wait framework can reasonably accurately predict the routing performance for LAROD, provided that representative forward and wait distributions are used. We believe that these results extend to other geographic routing protocols in IC-MANETs.
6. The validity of the framework assumptions
Average waiting times and forwarding distances
Avg. node degree
Avg. wait time (s)
Dist. traveled in waiting (radio radii)
Avg. fwd. dist. initial (radio radii)
Avg. fwd. dist. after wait (radio radii)
Avg. time fwd. (s)
LAROD ns-2 simulations
It is striking to observe the significant amounts of distance that packets traveled during waiting in relation to the forwarding distance. An immediate question is how much this result influences the validity of the model. The answer is that the impact is in fact not significant--whereas some nodes move closer to the destination of a packet waiting to be forwarded, other nodes will move away from the destination. Assuming directional uniformity of the movements, they cancel each other's effect in the infinite case. In the finite case, the distance to a static destination will somewhat increase (on average) during a waiting phase. However, this increase is typically small enough to be negligible.
We now consider the related assumption that time for forwarding is negligible. The time that a forwarding phase takes depends greatly on the communication technology and packet size. As the modeling approach in Section 4.1.2 does not include these aspects, we look in more detail into LAROD ns-2 simulations. From the simulation results in Table 6, we observe that the time consumed by forwarding is small (≈1.5%) in comparison to the waiting time. This confirms that the assumption in the framework holds. If this was not the case, Equation (5) would have been adapted to include forwarding time.
Another assumption in Section 3 was that, at any given time, only one copy of a packet is routed. For LAROD, however, occasionally this is not true in our ns-2 simulation data. For such cases, we use the copy that reaches furthest towards the destination for deriving the forwarding distributions. Hence, the assumption can be respected by extraction of suitable traces from simulations (at the expense of being more or less optimistic). To analyze the delivery ratio of a routing protocol that routes multiple copies of a packet, the forwarding and waiting distributions can be extended by considering the first copy arriving at the destination and modeling the routing decisions made for those packets.
7. Practical application of the forward-wait framework
In Section 5, we showed that the forward-wait framework can accurately match the results by simulations. This establishes some trust in the capability of the framework in predicting routing performance. In this section, we illustrate how the framework can be used in connection with a large-scale deployment. For the illustrations, we require data for multiple node densities. Since these data are only available for the model of routing and mobility from Section 4.1, we will in this section use the distributions derived in Section 4.2.
8. Conclusions and further study
We have presented and validated the forward-wait mathematical framework for geographic routing. The framework describes the probability of delivery as a function of the maximum allowed delivery time and the distance to destination. As input, the framework uses scenario- and protocol-specific random variables characterizing the forwarding and waiting phases. Combined with a description of the distance to destination, the delivery ratio can be computed for any scenario size. The framework can also be used to dynamically assess delivery probabilities based on different packet life time settings. A first application of the framework in the context of a military reconnaissance scenario has already provided useful insights .
A major challenge in modeling routing performance is that the routing performance is scenario- and protocol-dependant. For the proposed forward-wait framework, the scenario- and protocol-specific elements are captured by the properties of the forwarding and waiting phases. For a specific scenario evaluated in ns-2, we determined these properties using two methods: (1) an abstract mobility model with Poisson distributed node placement and a routing protocol model, and (2) basic routing data from the ns-2 simulations. Comparing the two approaches, we observed that only with the latter input the forward-wait framework could accurately predict the routing results from the ns-2 simulations. This illustrates the difficulty of accurately describing node mobility and routing protocol using simple abstractions, and that if simplistic models are used, then the performance results are generally not reliable.
While the proposed framework is believed to be general enough to apply to other geographic routing algorithms, further study is needed to provide the evidence for this. In addition to the validation of the framework to broaden its usefulness, the prediction accuracy could be improved by explicitly considering both time and motion in the models describing forwarding and waiting.
Complexity of deriving the distribution of forwarding distance
, where f(x) is a continuous and strictly increasing or decreasing function of x within the range where pdf(X, x) > 0.
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