Power Management in Disruption Tolerant Networks

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Jun, Hyewon
Ammar, Mostafa H.
Zegura, Ellen W.
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Disruption Tolerant Networks (DTNs) are mobile wireless networks that are designed to work in highly-challenged environments where the density of nodes is insufficient to support direct end-to-end communication. Recent efforts in DTNs have shown that mobility provides a powerful means for delivering messages in such highly-challenging environments. Unfortunately, many mobility scenarios depend on untethered devices with limited energy supplies. Without careful management, depleted energy supplies will degrade network connectivity and counteract the robustness gained by mobility. A primary concern is the energy consumed by wireless communications because the wireless interface is one of the largest energy consumers in mobile devices whether they are actively communicating or just listening. However, mobile devices exhibit a tension between saving energy and providing connectivity through opportunistic encounters. In order to pass messages, the device must discover communication opportunities with other nodes. At the same time, energy can be conserved by ``sleeping,' i.e., turning off or disabling the wireless interfaces. However, if the wireless interface is asleep, the node cannot discover other nodes for communication. Thus, power management in DTNs must balance the discovery of other nodes while aggressively sleeping the radio during the remaining periods. In this thesis, we first develop a power management framework for a single radio architecture that allows a node to save energy while discovering communication opportunities. The framework is tailored to the available knowledge about network connectivity over time. Further, the framework supports explicit trade-offs between energy savings and connectivity, so network operators can choose, for example, to conserve energy at the cost of reduced message delivery performance. We next examine the possibility of using a hierarchical radio architecture in which nodes are equipped with two complementary radios: a long-range, high-power radio and a short-range, low-power radio. In this architecture, energy can be conserved by using the low-power radio to discover communication opportunities with other nodes and waking the high-power radio to undertake the data transmission. However, the short range of the low-power radio may result in missing communication opportunities. Thus, we develop a generalized power management framework in which both radios support the discovery. In addition, we incorporate the knowledge of traffic load and network dynamics and devise approximation algorithms to control the sleep/wake-up cycling of the radios to provide maximum energy conservation while discovering enough communication opportunities to handle the expected traffic load. Finally, we investigate the Message Ferrying (MF) routing paradigm as a means to save energy while trading off data delivery delay. In MF, special nodes called ferries move around the deployment area to deliver messages for nodes. While this routing paradigm has been developed mainly to deliver messages in partitioned networks, here we explore its use in a connected MANET. The reliance on the movement of the ferries to deliver messages increases the delivery delay if a network is not partitioned. However, delegating message delivery to the ferries provides the opportunity for nodes to save energy by aggressively putting their radios to sleep when ferries are far away. To exploit this feature, we present a power management framework, in which nodes switch their power management modes based on the knowledge of ferry location.
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