Detour-Based Mobility Coordination in DTNs
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Commonly, research work in routing for delay tolerant networks (DTN) assumes that node encounters are predestined, in the sense that they are the result of unknown, exogenous processes that control the mobility of these nodes. In this paper, we argue that for many applications such an assumption is too restrictive: while the spatio-temporal coordinates of the start and end points of a node's journey are determined by exogenous processes, the specific path that a node may take in space-time, and hence the set of nodes it may encounter could be controlled in such a way so as to improve the performance of DTN routing. To that end, we consider a setting in which each mobile node is governed by a schedule consisting of a ist of locations that the node must visit at particular times. Typically, such schedules exhibit some level of slack, which could be leveraged for DTN message delivery purposes. We define the Mobility Coordination Problem (MCP) for DTNs as follows: Given a set of nodes, each with its own schedule, and a set of messages to be exchanged between these nodes, devise a set of node encounters that minimize message delivery delays while satisfying all node schedules. The MCP for DTNs is general enough that it allows us to model and evaluate some of the existing DTN schemes, including data mules and message ferries. In this paper, we show that MCP for DTNs is NP-hard and propose two detour-based approaches to solve the problem. The first (DMD) is a centralized heuristic that leverages knowledge of the message workload to suggest specific detours to optimize message delivery. The second (DNE) is a distributed heuristic that is oblivious to the message workload, and which selects detours so as to maximize node encounters. We evaluate the performance of these detour-based approaches using extensive simulations based on synthetic workloads as well as real schedules obtained from taxi logs in a major metropolitan area. Our evaluation shows that our centralized, workload-aware DMD approach yields the best performance, in terms of message delay and delivery success ratio, and that our distributed, workload-oblivious DNE approach yields favorable performance when compared to approaches that require the use of data mules and message ferries.