Amorphous Placement and Retrieval of Sensory Data in Sparse Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks
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Abstract—Personal communication devices are increasingly being equipped with sensors that are able to passively collect information from their surroundings – information that could be stored in fairly small local caches. We envision a system in which users of such devices use their collective sensing, storage, and communication resources to query the state of (possibly remote) neighborhoods. The goal of such a system is to achieve the highest query success ratio using the least communication overhead (power). We show that the use of Data Centric Storage (DCS), or directed placement, is a viable approach for achieving this goal, but only when the underlying network is well connected. Alternatively, we propose, amorphous placement, in which sensory samples are cached locally and informed exchanges of cached samples is used to diffuse the sensory data throughout the whole network. In handling queries, the local cache is searched first for potential answers. If unsuccessful, the query is forwarded to one or more direct neighbors for answers. This technique leverages node mobility and caching capabilities to avoid the multi-hop communication overhead of directed placement. Using a simplified mobility model, we provide analytical lower and upper bounds on the ability of amorphous placement to achieve uniform field coverage in one and two dimensions. We show that combining informed shuffling of cached samples upon an encounter between two nodes, with the querying of direct neighbors could lead to significant performance improvements. For instance, under realistic mobility models, our simulation experiments show that amorphous placement achieves 10% to 40% better query answering ratio at a 25% to 35% savings in consumed power over directed placement.