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Publication# Efficient Broadcasting Using Network Coding

Résumé

We consider the problem of broadcasting in an ad-hoc wireless network, where all nodes of the network are sources that want to transmit information to all other nodes. Our figure of merit is energy efficiency, a critical design parameter for wireless networks since it directly affects battery life and thus network lifetime. We prove that applying ideas from network coding allows to realize significant benefits in terms of energy efficiency for the problem of broadcasting, and propose very simple algorithms that allow to realize these benefits in practice. In particular, our theoretical analysis shows that network coding improves performance by a constant factor in fixed networks. We calculate this factor exactly for some canonical configurations. We then show that in networks where the topology dynamically changes, for example due to mobility, and where operations are restricted to simple distributed algorithms, network coding can offer improvements of a factor of log n, where n is the number of nodes in the network. We use the insights gained from the theoretical analysis to propose low-complexity distributed algorithms for realistic wireless ad-hoc scenarios, discuss a number of practical considerations, and evaluate our algorithms through packet level simulation.

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Suhas Diggavi, Matthias Grossglauser, Dominique Florian Tschopp

Dynamic networks are those where the topology changes over time and therefore efficient routes need to be maintained by frequent updates. Such updates could be costly in terms of consuming throughput available for data transmission, which is a precious resource in wireless networks. In this paper, we ask the question whether there exist low-overhead schemes for dynamic wireless networks, that could produce routes that are within a small constant factor (stretch) of the optimal route-length. This is studied by using the underlying geometric properties of the connectivity graph in wireless networks. For a class of models for mobile wireless network that fulfill some mild conditions on the connectivity and on mobility over the time of interest, we can design distributed routing algorithm that maintains the routes over a changing topology. This scheme needs only node identities and therefore integrates location service along with routing, therefore accounting for the complete overhead. We analyze the worst-case (conservative) overhead and route-quality (stretch) performance of this algorithm for the aforementioned class of wireless network connectivity and mobility models. In particular for these models, we show that our algorithm allows constant stretch routing with a network wide control traffic overhead of $O(n\log^2 n)$ bits per mobility time step (time-scale of topology change) translating to $O(\log^2 n)$ overhead per node (with high probability for wireless networks with such mobility model). Additionally, we can reduce the maximum overhead per node by using a load-balancing technique at the cost of a slightly higher average overhead. We also demonstrate through numerics that these worst-case bounds are quite conservative in terms of the constants derived theoretically.

2007In this thesis we focus on understanding, measuring and describing the performance of Opportunistic Networks (ONs) and their applications. An “opportunistic network” is a term introduced to describe a sparse, wireless, ad hoc network with highly mobile nodes. The opportunistic networking paradigm deviates from the traditional end-to-end connectivity concept: Forwarding is based on intermittent connectivity between mobile nodes (typically, users with wireless devices); complete routes between sources and destinations rarely exist. Due to this unique property of spontaneous link establishment, the challenges that exist in ONs are specific. The unstructured nature of these networks makes it difficult to give any performance guarantees on data dissemination. For this reason, in Part I of this thesis we explore the dynamics that affect the performance of opportunistic networks. We choose a number of meaningful scenarios where our models and algorithms can be validated using large and credible data sets. We show that a drift and jump model that takes a spatial approach succeeds in capturing the impact of infrastructure and mobile-to-mobile exchanges on an opportunistic content update system. We describe the effects of these dynamics by using the age distribution of a dynamic piece of data (i.e., information updates) as the performance measure. The model also succeeds in capturing a strong bias in user mobility and reveals the existence of regions, whose statistics play a critical role in the performance perceived in the network. We exploit these findings to design an application for greedy infrastructure placement, which relies on the model approximation for a large number of nodes. Another great challenge of opportunistic networking lies in the fact that the bandwidth available on wireless links, coupled with ad hoc networking, failed to rival the capacity of backbones and to establish opportunistic networks as an alternative to infrastructure-based networks. For this reason, we never study ONs in an isolated context. Instead, we consider the applications that leverage interconnection between opportunistic networks and legacy networks and we study the benefits this synergy brings to both. Following this approach, we use a large operator-provided data set to show that opportunistic networks (based on Wi-Fi) are capable of offloading a significant amount of traffic from 3G networks. At the same time, the offloading algorithms we propose reduce the amount of energy consumed by mobiles, while requiring Wi-Fi coverage that is several times smaller than in the case of real-time offloading. Again we confirm and reuse the fact that user mobility is biased towards certain regions of the network. In Part II of this thesis, we treat another issue that is essential for the acceptance and evolution of opportunistic networks and their applications. Namely, we address the absence of experimental results that would support the findings of simulation based studies. Although the techniques such as contact-based simulations should intuitively be able to capture the performance of opportunistic applications, this intuition has little evidence in practice. For this reason, we design and deploy an experiment with real users who use an opportunistic Twitter application, in a way that allows them to maintain communication with legacy networks (i.e., cellular networks, the Internet). The experiment gives us a unique insight into certain performance aspects that are typically hidden or misinterpreted when the usual evaluation techniques (such as simulation) are used. We show that, due to the commonly ignored factors (such as the limited transmission bandwidth), contact-based simulations significantly overestimate delivery ratio and obtain delays that are several times lower than those experimentally acquired. In addition to this, our results unanimously show that the common practice of assuming infinite cache sizes in simulation studies, leads to a misinterpretation of the effects of a backbone on an opportunistic network. Such simulations typically overestimate the performance of the opportunistic component, while underestimating the utility of the backbone. Given the discovered deficiencies of the contact-based simulations, we consider an alternative statistical treatment of contact traces that uses the weighted contact graph. We show that this approach offers a better interpretation of the impact of a backbone on an opportunistic network and results in a closer match when it comes to modeling certain aspects of performance (namely, delivery ratio). Finally, the security requirements for the opportunistic applications that involve an interconnection with legacy networks are also highly specific. They cannot be fully addressed by the solutions proposed in the context of autonomous opportunistic (or ad hoc) networks, nor by the security frameworks used for securing the applications with continuous connectivity. Thus, in Part III of this thesis, we put together a security framework that fits the networks and applications that we target (i.e., the opportunistic networks and applications with occasional Internet connectivity). We then focus on the impact of security print on network performance and design a scheme for the protection of optimal relaying capacity in an opportunistic multihop network. We fine-tune the parameters of our scheme by using a game-theoretic approach and we demonstrate the substantial performance gains provided by the scheme.

Christina Fragouli, Jean-Yves Le Boudec, Jörg Widmer

We consider the problem of broadcasting in an ad hoc wireless network, where all nodes of the network are sources that want to transmit information to all other nodes. Our figure of merit is energy efficiency, a critical design parameter for wireless net- works since it directly affects battery life and thus network life- time. We prove that applying ideas from network coding allows to realize significant benefits in terms of energy efficiency for the problem of broadcasting, and propose very simple algorithms that allow to realize these benefits in practice. In particular, our theo- retical analysis shows that network coding improves performance by a constant factor in fixed networks. We calculate this factor exactly for some canonical configurations. We then show that in networks where the topology dynamically changes, for example due to mobility, and where operations are restricted to simple dis- tributed algorithms, network coding can offer improvements of a factor of , where is the number of nodes in the network. We use the insights gained from the theoretical analysis to propose low-complexity distributed algorithms for realistic wireless ad hoc scenarios, discuss a number of practical considerations, and eval- uate our algorithms through packet level simulation.

2008