A method for optimizing power and throughput metrics for mobile ad hoc wireless routing algorithms
Mobile ad hoc networks (MANET) are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in the realm of sensor networks. Most of the ongoing research of these networks is centered on protocol development and data delivery characteristics, particularly in the areas of throughput and latency. But in the realm of wireless networks, a new metric needs to be considered, one that takes into consideration the power efficiency across the wireless network. This thesis addresses this need by defining a new network performance metric that incorporates aspects of both power efficiency and data throughput. The new metric is a reflection of the performance of the routing protocol being evaluated for a particular network scenario. Comparing the metric values for different network routing protocols allow for the optimal network routing protocol for the particular network scenario to be identified. Wireless nodes have a finite amount of energy to operate with, and when that energy is depleted, the node dies and no longer performs its intended functions. In order to maintain a functioning MANET for longer periods of time, the network as a whole needs to consider power efficiency for optimal network lifetime. Some optimization techniques include transmission power, data compression, and even the network protocols used for network connectivity. Several of these techniques are discussed, but this research focuses more on the network routing protocols and the power footprints associated with them. While other researchers are developing power-aware routing algorithms, often by augmenting existing protocols, this thesis develops a methodology of comparing the overall network performance of the routing protocols used for a particular network scenario. Data is gathered through network simulations with ns-3, an open source network simulator. Four common routing protocols are evaluated against several network scenarios. Data collected per simulation includes the network lifetime and data throughput statistics. The data is analyzed in order to find the optimal routing protocol for the particular network scenario. Rather than creating yet another power-aware routing algorithm, this thesis develops a value-function based approach for measuring network performance that incorporates both power efficiency and data throughput.