Virtual Mobile Nodes for Mobile Ad Hoc Networks

Unknown author (2004-02-26)

One of the most significant challenges introduced by mobile networks is the difficulty in coping withthe unpredictable movement of mobile nodes. If, instead, the mobile nodes could be programmed totravel through the world in a predictable and useful manner, the task of designing algorithms for mobilenetworks would be significantly simplified. Alas, users of mobile devices in the real world are notamenable to following instructions as to where their devices may travel.While real mobile nodes may be disinclined to move as desired, we propose executing algorithmson virtual mobile nodes that move in a predetermined, predictable, manner through the real world. Inthis paper, we define the Virtual Mobile Node Abstraction, and present selected algorithms that takeadvantage of virtual mobile nodes to simply and efficiently perform complicated tasks in highly dynamic,unpredictable mobile ad hoc networks.We then present the Mobile Point Emulator, a new algorithm that implements robust virtual mobilenodes. This algorithm replicates the virtual node at a constantly changing set of real nodes, choosingnew replicas as the real nodes move in and out of the path of the virtual node. We claim that the MobilePoint algorithm correctly implements a virtual mobile node, and that it is robust as long as the virtualnode travels through well-populated areas of the network.