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Understanding the Impact of Message Prioritization in Post-Disaster Ad Hoc Networks

Author:Patrick Lieser, Nils Richerzhagen, Simon Luser, Björn Richerzhagen, Ralf Steinmetz
Date:March 2019
Kind:In proceedings - use for conference & workshop papers
Book title:Networked Systems (NetSys)
Abstract:In the aftermath of disasters, access to communication infrastructure is often impaired or fully unavailable. Smartphone-based ad hoc networks can be utilized to re-enable basic communication services and foster coordination and self-help capabilities of those affected. However, their capacity is limited as they need to operate in a disruption-tolerant fashion. At the same time, the communication demand increases significantly after a disaster, potentially overloading the ad hoc network and requiring message prioritization mechanisms. In this work, we contribute insights into the communication behavior and resource demand in a post-disaster ad hoc network based on a large field trial and a survey of related works. We identify—potentially undesired—interactions between delay-tolerant networks (DTNs) with message prioritization and the specific dynamics of a disaster scenario. To study these interactions in greater detail, we propose a generic architecture for the evaluation of prioritized DTNs in disaster scenarios. We identify key issues w.r.t. static and adaptive prioritization approaches based on a proof-of-concept evaluation and outline directions for future research on prioritization in DTNs.

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