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Research Proposal (Draft) to evaluate the

performance of a hybrid routing protocol for


MANET.
I.

INTRODUCTION

The Mobile Ad-hoc Network (MANET) working group (Corson & Macker 1999) defines
MANET as a network of independent mobile devices capable of establishing ad-hoc
communication with each other without an infrastructure and free to move about randomly.
Since MANET does not require a fixed infrastructure and is capable of adapting to dynamic
network changes, its application ranges from early warning systems (wireless sensor networks)
to disaster recovery (search and rescue), where communication infrastructure is either
non-existent or damaged, and requires rapid deployment.
But these capabilities also mean that the network topology is susceptible to sudden and
frequent changes. In addition, as nodes generally have limited coverage range, some nodes
cannot directly communicate with other nodes in the network, and have to rely on intermediate
nodes in the path to communicate, resulting in multi-hop transmission of packets. The
combination of frequent topology changes and multi-hop transmission has demanded the need
to define new routing protocols for MANET, since the existing routing protocols were designed
for networks where the topology is fixed unless links or nodes fail (Mbarushimana & Shahrabi
2007).
MANET routing protocols are classified as proactive, reactive, and hybrid routing (Sumy,
Vojcic & Xu 2003, p. 345). In proactive routing, each node maintains a routing table that lists
the best paths to each node in the network. However, to update the routing table whenever
there is a topology change requires control packets to be exchanged frequently, consuming
network bandwidth. Whereas, reactive protocols (Sumy, Vojcic & Xu 2003, p.364) discover and
establish routes to a destination only when there is a need by sending out route requests only
when a packet arrives with an unknown destination address; any node that has a route to the
destination responds back. While reactive routing saves bandwidth, it causes delay in route
discovery. Hybrid protocols (Sumy, Vojcic & Xu 2003, p.400) are based on the good features of
proactive and reactive protocols. Our routing protocol takes a hybrid approach where we define
different zones in the network, and use proactive routing within a zone and reactive routing for
nodes outside a zone. This ensures the protocol is not bandwidth intensive through reduced
routing overhead (control packets), while also reducing the delay in discovering routes.
To study the performance of our routing protocol, we propose to evaluate its performance
against existing hybrid MANET routing protocols: Zone Routing Protocol (Haas, Pearlman &
Samar 2002) and Multipath Distance Vector Zone Routing Protocol (Ibrahim, Ali & King 2008),
through simulations. For this effect, we will use Network Simulator, a popular tool for
simulation of networks, under varying mobility and congestion conditions with constant bit rate
sources to measure performance metrics like routing overhead, end-to-end delay, and packet
delivery function.
The rest of this proposal is structured as follows. In Section II, we briefly discuss existing
MANET routing protocols and mention some simulation tools used to study hybrid routing
protocols performance. Section III describes the simulation setup and methodology in detail,
followed by potential risks associated with our simulation and our commitment to conform to
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ethical standards in Section IV. An approximate timeline and cost of our proposed exercise is
presented in Section V, and finally we conclude in Section VI with a brief discussion on the
expected results.

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II.

LITERATURE REVIEW AND RELATED WORK

To start, a routing protocol is a set of standard rules that help multiple devices communicate
in a network. As said before, these can be divided in three different types. Hence this literature
review is structured according to this division.

Proactive Routing Review and Performance


Proactive routing protocols derive their name from their behaviour. Every node stores
routing information in the table even before it is needed. In this type of protocols, the routing
table contains information about how to reach every existing node in the network and hence it
is also identified as table-driven routing protocol (Sumy, Vojcic & Xu 2003, p. 345). Every time a
node becomes part of the network or conversely leaves it, routing information is exchanged
between nodes to update their routes, in this way the time required to route packets from
source to destination is minimum. But this behaviour leads to an overuse of resources like
bandwidth due to the constant transmission of routing updates as well as high power and
processing resources in each node. Consequently, the use of these type of protocols can be very
inefficient, specially as the number of nodes in the network increases.
Proactive routing protocols can implement the Distance Vector and Link State algorithms to
determine routes. In the Distance Vector algorithm, every node maintains a set of distance
records for the destination. It uses the principle of shortest path selection to choose the final
route. This algorithm is easy to use but in some cases may cause endless loops in the network.
The link state includes the whole network topology and link costs of all the nodes. Like
Distance Vector, it applies the shortest-part algorithm to select the right path of the destination.
But this selection also depends on the time required to receive the link state information of
every node. This algorithm may cause temporary delays in the network. The Optimized Link
State Routing Protocol (OLSR) algorithm uses the unique feature of Multipoint Relay (MPR)
selectors. These helps in route calculation, traffic control and minimise the message size. The
other algorithms like Destination-Sequenced Distance-Vector Routing Protocol (DSDV), Global
State Routing (GSR) and Fish Eye State Routing are used since they provide features like loop
free routes in the network. The disadvantage of the DSDV protocol is the excess amount of
overhead and hence it cannot be adopted in large scale network projects. The GSR and FSR
(descendent of GSR) can be used in large networks but have drawbacks like large consumption
of bandwidth and reduced accuracy (Abolhasan, Wysocki & Dutkiewicz 2004).

Reactive Routing Review and Performance


Taking a different approach where the main idea is to decrease the amount of control
packets using to route traffic between nodes in a MANET network, reactive routing protocols
take place (Tan & Srinivasan 2010, p. 10). Instead of having a large routing table with a
complete set of routes to every single node in the network, a route from source to destination is
only learned and maintained while it is required to be used (Frikha 2011, section 2.3.2).
With reactive routing protocols, some typical characteristics of MANET networks are
improved (Shivahare, Wahi & Shivhare 2012, p. 356). In the case of a dynamic topology and
limited bandwidth of the links, a node that constantly connects and disconnects to the network
will not generate any change in the routing table and over-load of the wireless medium until it
sends or receive data. In the same way, this less exchange of packets leads to a reduction in the
energy consumption.
Basically, in reactive routing protocols a flooding packet (RREQ) is sent by the source node to
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every intermediary node when it needs to communicate with a distant node that is not directly
connected, in order to determine the path. Then, these will provide an answer with the route to
destination in case it is known, or will forward this request to other nodes in the network in
case of not knowing how to reach destination.
Currently, the two most important reactive routing protocols are the Dynamic Source
Routing Protocol (DSR) and the ADHOC on Demand Distance Vector Routing (AOVD)
(Shivahare, Wahi & Shivhare 2012, p. 357). DSR has two main processes, the discovery of
Routes and the maintenance of those after discovered. During the discovery process, DSR adds
the IP address of each hop from source to destination as it goes through. Unfortunately, this
generates that as the route gets longer, the packet header increases hence the use of bandwidth
is higher as well. AODV has the same two processes that DSR has. But in the Route discovery,
the whole path is not stated in the packet header. Instead, every node maintains a forward and
a backward route entry, then by just checking the destination IP, every node knows to what
other node it should route the packets (Tan & Srinivasan 2010, p. 14). It can be said that AOVD
is a mix between reactive and proactive, the reason is that it keeps a small routing table.
However, this one only contains routes to directly neighbours of a node. Finally, AOVD provides
a faster route discovery than DSR at intermediate nodes can directly answer to a query in case
they know the answer, it is not necessary to repetitively forward the request until the whole
path from source to destination is covered.

Hybrid Routing Review and Performance


The idea of combining the benefits of pro-active and reactive routing protocols has leaded to
the development of the called hybrids (Frikha 2011, section 2.3.2). These ones propend for the
reduction of large routing tables, which can be hard to maintain updated and use a considerable
memory space, at the same time that tries to keep a low latency when discovering new routes
(Tan & Srinivasan 2010, p. 17).
The best example of this kind of protocols is the Zone Routing Protocol (ZRP). Basically, it
implements a concept of zones where each node calculates its own zone radius, that can consist
of n nodes or hops. A route to each distant node must be proactively kept as long as it still be
considered as a part of the nodes zone radius. Then, only when communication to a remote
node needs to take place, a route discovery process take place as in reactive routing protocols
(Chahidi & Ezzati, 2012, p. 491).
Several experiments have been done in order to test different aspects of hybrid routing
protocols. A remind that MANET are characterized by its changing topology (most of the time
as a result of the nodes mobility, but also for connectivity issues), very limited channels
bandwidth, routing through multiple hops, and control (Rajeswari & Venkataramani, 2011, p.
67). Most of the research carried out regarding to hybrid routing are focused on: energy analysis
and bandwidth consumption due to routing packets exchange, Speed to find routes to distant
nodes, and security. Though this last one is a very wide topic that concerns about any wireless
protocol in general.

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III.

METHODOLOGY

In this section, the methodology used for this project is explained. The research method,
simulation scenarios, experimental design and data analysis are detailed as well.

Research Method
In order to evaluate the performance of several hybrid MANET routing protocols, we choose
simulation as our research method. Banks et al. (2010, p. 3) defined A simulation is the
imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time. Whether done by hand or
on a computer, simulation involves the generation of an artificial history of a system and the
observation of that artificial history to draw inferences concerning the operating characteristics
of the real system. In other words, simulation does not require high efforts and can be
repeatable. Furthermore, as a valuable tool, simulation has been commonly used for developing
and testing new protocol (Mehta, Kwak & Sulatan 2010, p. 82). Since the different layers of the
protocol consist of a complex system for mathematical analysis, we can analyse the interactions
between different layers in the protocol stack based on the simulation. Consequently, those
advantages of simulation methods are suitable for verifying the performance of large-scale
mobile networks.

Simulation Scenarios
For the network simulator of this MANET project, it is used the software NS-3 which is a
discrete-event network simulator for Internet systems and supports a variety of static or
dynamic routing protocols (NS-3 Consortium 2015). This simulator is one of the most popular
tools for research communities (Kumar et al. 2012, p.340). With the NS-3 simulator, we will
implement the complete IEEE 802.11 standard (IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee
1999) and Medium Access Control Protocol Distributed Coordination Function (need to add
reference) in the wireless environment. The function is based on physical and virtual carrier
sense mechanisms for reducing the probability of collisions caused by hidden terminals. In
addition, we will choose Random Waypoint Mobility Model as our simulation scenario. This
model is a classical mobile node module used by the majority of the researchers in prominent
simulation studies of ad hoc network protocols (Camp, Boleng & Davies 2002, p. 489). In this
model, the mobile node will be allocated in a location for a certain period of time, also named
pause times, and then it will move to a random destination in the simulation area with
random speed, which is uniformly sampled in a speed range. In addition, the mobile node will
repeat this process literately. It can create realistic mobility patterns for modelling people move
such as a conference setting or museum (Camp, Boleng & Davies 2002, p. 500). Exactly, it will
close to the real mobility environment for verifying the hybrid MANET routing protocols.

Experiment Design
With Random Waypoint Mobility Model, we will build 1000m * 200m space for our
simulation scenario, where each simulation will run for about 600 seconds. Since the
performance of any protocol depends on the parameter settings, we will test different movement
patterns by setting pause times between 0 to 600 seconds. Then, the movement patterns
simulations might be generated for 7 different pause times: 0, 30, 60, 120, 240, 480, and 600
seconds, which can cover different mobility scenarios. Furthermore, we will simulate 20 mobile
nodes, 50 mobile nodes and 100 mobile nodes for each testing suits, which can match the room
capacity of a small conference, a middle conference and a large conference respectively. It will
show the performance of our proposed routing protocol under both low and peak congestion
conditions. In addition, we will test different sending rates of 1, 4, and 8 packets per second,
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different packet sizes of 64 and 1024 bytes, and different networks constant bit rate of 10, 20,
and 30, which can verify the quality of service of a routing protocol under the different
combination of network traffic flow pattern. During the evaluation, we will record track in
topology and record load balancing and congestive effects in different movement patterns. In
order to evidence the performance of our proposed protocol, we will also run simulations for two
more hybrid routing protocols under the same experiment conditions. After gotten enough data,
some statistical methods will be used for data analysis. We will conduct statistical significance
tests such as t-test and analysis of variance to compare the performance of our proposed
protocol with other protocols for the MANET.

Data Analysis
To evaluate the performance of our routing protocol, we plan to measure the following
performance metrics as suggested by the MANET working group (Corson & Macker 1999):
M etrics
Packet Delivery Ratio
(PDR)
Throughput (TH)

Definition
The ratio of data packets received against the number of
data packets sent
Ratio of control and data packets transmitted per data
packet received
The time it takes for a packet to travel from a source to destination
End-to-End Delay (DE)
Routing Overhead (RO)
The total number of routing control packets sent during
the simulation time.
Table 1: Metrics considered for data analysis.
These metrics play a signal role to evaluate the performance of routing protocols in MANET.
Firstly, the PDR reflects how efficiently the routing protocol delivers packet. Secondly, the
throughput measures the protocols medium access efficiency in a shared medium like wireless
ad-hoc networks where the MAC layer is contention-based. Thirdly, the end-to-end delay
indicates the delays caused due to route discovery, queuing delay, propagation delays and
retransmission. Finally, the RO measures how the protocol would scale as the network size
grows, since increase in routing control packets could increase power consumption as well as
the chances of collisions in a shared medium like wireless. Hence, these metrics can help us
deliver a full and proper comparison of the performance between our proposed hybrid routing
protocol and others already existent.

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IV.

RISK MANAGEMENT AND ETHICS

In this section, the focus is on some key risks in our project such as experimental method
risks, simulator risks, mobility model risks and project management risks.

Experimental Method Risks


For example, in a real wireless environment, for each experimental variable designed in this
project such as packet size, abnormal packet, rate of sending-packet, the values of each of these
variables can involve a much wider range than the covered in our simulations. We only choose
typical data scenarios as limits of time and resources exist.

Simulator Risks
A simulation tool is a simplified representation of real devices and scenarios; hence it
provides responses to limited operating conditions. There are various kinds of mobile end points
in a real MANET environment, which are made by different companies. Because they use
different kind of network CPU, protocol stack, we cannot verify their performance index on the
real MANET through a simulator. The performance of a simulator is built on a local machine
with limited computing capability. Thus we cannot simulate a large MANET with multiple
nodes and complex structure for evaluation.

Mobility Module Risks


We choose the random waypoint model as our testing mode. One concern with this model is
the straight movement pattern created by the mobile note to the next chosen destination.
Consequently, this model does not fit or cover some real scenarios. For example, for a music
concert, the audience taken mobile phone can build a temperate MANET. When then music
concert ends, audience is likely to leave the place like a tidal wave. This scenario is very
important for testing the ability of routing convergence.

Project Management Risks


There are four researchers in our team but only one of us is good at using the simulator
software NS-3. Even though it is open source software, it is very complex to set up and
configure to run simulations without professional support. Then, in case of this researcher leave
the experiment, it will significantly delay the progress of this project.

Ethics
In order to make our research available to the public in case results need to be verified or
method needs to be replicated, we will store testing suites, testing scripts, testing logs and
results on the local machines and plan to transfer them into the GitHub. In addition, we
attempted to apply to the Government for related research funding instead of ISPs or
companies related to the development of MANET devices or technologies as these could tend to
bias or influence the results of our experimental research. In addition, we choose Network
Simulation as the methodological approach since all the data generated are the pure result of
the tests performed using this simulation tool, for instance no human ethics and/or animal
ethics represent an issue for this project as these are not involved as objects of the experiment.

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We will ensure we abide by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
(Australian Government 2007, p.2.2-5.2):

We will ensure that our results and interpretations of the results are accurate and not
falsified or faked in any manner, even if it contradicts our initial hypothesis.
We will not claim someones idea or work as our own, and acknowledge others work
accurately and truthfully wherever relevant, in addition to not submitting the same
work to multiple publications without disclosure.
We will get the necessary consent and permission from the original author or publisher
before republishing their research findings as a part of our work.
We will disclose any source of funding for our research and reveal any probable conflicts
of interest.
We will acknowledge and include everyone who participated in our research endeavor,
while refraining from including authors based on personal friendship or positions of
authority.

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V.

PROJECT TIMELIME AND COSTS

The figure 1 represents the tentative timeline for the successful completion of our research
work.

Figure1: Research project schedule

Since we have already invested adequate amount of time for literature study to reaffirm our
research question, the bulk of our time will be spent configuring and building the test
environment, running the simulations, analysing and interpreting the data collected, and
preparing the final report to present our findings.
Given that Network Simulator is open source, the appreciable costs to carry out our research
would be for paying the principal researcher and the research assistants, with some amount
required for purchasing servers and personal computers, as shown in the table below.

Table 2: Approximate project cost


(Assumption: researchers work for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week)

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VI.

CONCLUSIONS AND EXPECTED RESULTS

Through the various performance metrics that we intend to measure, we expect our routing
protocol to demonstrate superior performance in comparison to Zone Routing Protocol and
Multipath Distance Vector Zone Routing Protocol, especially in terms of routing overhead and
delay in route discovery, which are the two primary issues current MANET routing protocols
have failed to address. However, we are uncertain how our routing protocol would perform
when the network is congested, since frequent packet drops could trigger route request packets
being resent more frequently resulting in increased routing overhead. We are equally doubtful
about how scalable our proposed solution would be as the network size increases, since packets
would now have to be forwarded over an increased number of wireless hops, which could
potentially lead to longer end-to-end delays.
In summary, despite the doubts surrounding our expected results, we are confident we will
be making a significant contribution to the literature.

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