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Mobile Ad Hoc Networks MANET

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Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.

Published: Thu, 08 Feb 2018


Mobile Ad Hoc Network (MANET) is a wireless network capable of autonomous operation. MANET routing has no fixed base station and hence nodes in the network are mobile and self configuring. A MANET is characterized by multi hop routing so that nodes are not connected to layer 2 but can communicate through layer 3 routing. In MANET every node is a potential router and the topologies are dynamic due to node mobility. This paper presents a comprehensive study of four MANET routing protocols ADOV (Ad Hoc On demand Distance Vector), DSR (Dynamic Source Routing), OLSR (Optimized Link State Routing) and TORA (Temporally Ordered Routing Algorithm). For experimental purpose six scenarios have been considered. These 6 scenarios are generated with 3 different traffic parameters namely high resolution video, light HTTP and high FTP load. This traffic was passed individually on to each scenario on 2 different node setup (20, 100 nodes). Finally, graphical evaluation of each protocol was based on their performances which are calculated on the basis of performance metrics used which are End to end delay, Network load and Throughput.

Chapter 1: Introduction

This chapter demonstrates a brief overview of the project. Now days in our day to day life we see so many changes around the world accelerating with respect to technology. In this technical world Internet has brought revolution in communication media. Communication is said to the method of information exchange either between two people or between two end users (in terms of computers). Communication is said to be done when a file or a message is passed over the medium among two people. Here the usage of internet comes into existence. Internet can be used as shared medium for information interchange between users around the globe. This information can be of any type:

  • Short Message
  • Mail
  • File transfers
  • Video
  • Audio etc…

When these types of information are passed among internet, it uses either the wired media (for connecting users locally) or wireless media (for connecting locally or globally). When this information exchange is done the packets carry that information through the protocols available for the respective media to deliver the packet to the destination. This is the process of information exchange. In this paper, similar work is experimented over MANET (Mobile Ad Hoc Networks) [chapter 2] for information exchange using four different protocols. This setup was done internally over a virtual setup of networks using OPNET modeller 14.5. So the investigation of protocols is done based on the performance of each protocol. In the scenarios, each protocol is passed with 3 different types of traffics namely: High FTP load, High Resolution Video and Light HTTP Browsing. This thesis concludes the performance of four routing protocols towards through the end.

Keywords: MANET, AODV, OLSR, TORA, DSR, OPNET Modeler 14.5.

1.1 Organisation of Thesis:

This thesis gives an overview of how the project is organised with respect to each chapter. The very first chapter is Introduction of the Thesis, which shows a project idea and the tasks to achieve the goals. Second chapter Literature Survey which contains the studies and work which has been done previously by other authors on the related topics with the parameters used by them for their work. The scenarios used for my work are related somewhere by overall different results are taken with different parameters used. Again the classification and the background work of MANETs are explained following the comparison of MANET routing protocols. The parameters and scenarios used for my work are explained briefly with the simulation setup in chapter 3, Implementation. The results of the simulations and experiments performed are explained in chapter 4, Performance Evaluation and Design. The results are taken graphically which helps in comparing the results for routing protocols against the performance metrics used to investigate the performance. The graphs are explained briefly in chapter 4. The results gathered with the help of scenarios in chapter 3 are concluded with the future work on the routing protocols in chapter 5, Conclusion and Future Work. Finally the supported documents for the project which helped in making the simulation and project start up is kept in Appendix A. And finally chapter 6 shows all the sources and references used for the thesis to help in achieving all the supported information and work.

1.2 Objective of Work

The main objective of this work is to study the different routing protocols, which are developed for Mobile Ad hoc networks (MANETs), and to compare the different routing protocols by using simulation tool OPNET Modeler 14.5. As a part of the work four major routing protocols OLSR, AODV, DSR and TORA have been selected and carried out the simulations for comparing the performance of these protocols. Three performance metrics delay; Network Load and Throughput are used to compare the performance of the routing protocols.

Objective 1

To get a clear understanding and functioning of different routing protocols for Mobile Ad hoc networks. This objective could be achieved by reading and understanding the various papers available on routing protocols of Mobile Ad hoc networks.

Objective 2

To do a literature survey of previous work done on MANET Routing Protocols so that something different and efficient simulation could be introduced. For this objective different articles and papers published has been studied thoroughly and analysed from websites, books and all relevant resources available. By going through literature survey on routing protocols, the desired simulation environment and setup have been introduced with different simulation parameters. Literature Survey is explained in chapter 2.

Objective 3

Conducting an experiment and collecting the output data:

This objective has been achieved by designing the appropriate networks with the appropriate simulation parameters and running a simulation for different protocols for different performance metrics. After conducting the simulation the output data have been collected graphically. The results are shown graphically and explained in the project in chapter 4.

Objective 4

Analyzing the output data and ending up with summary and the conclusion:

The results have been studied and explained in chapter 4. After studying the simulation results conclusion has been made with some future work which can be done further. Conclusion of the project and future work is explained in chapter 5.

Chapter 2: Literature Survey

2.1 Introduction

This chapter gives a brief introduction about the work done in previous related papers and reports related to this project. In addition, the introduction to the routing protocols and their classification with respect to routing is demonstrated. This chapter is a short review of the previous work done and the additional objectives regarding routing protocols. The four MANET routing protocols are selected to evaluate the performances; they are OLSR, AODV, DSR and TORA. The further implementations of these protocols are explained later in this thesis (Chapter 3). MANET is an infrastructure less network which provides the freedom to the nodes to be free to move anywhere in the network (Stefano Basagni, 2004).

2.2 Related Work on Routing Protocols:

As we see from (Mahmoud), analysis of two reactive protocols DSR and TORA were done using OPNET Modeller. In their simulation scenario, they used 50 wireless devices in each scenario with constant traffic parameters and protocol specification settings. They have passed FTP traffic of 1000 bytes making it constant throughout the simulation. Evaluation of these protocols was done based on the performance metrics used which are: Delay, Data dropped, Throughput and media access delay. Their simulation results shows that DSR performance was better than TORA in terms of throughput as TORA produces less throughput due to additional overhead used for path creation and path maintenance. At the same time TORA minimizes communication overhead by localization which results in less delay when compared to DSR as there is no such mechanism in DSR.

Similarly, from (Zukarnain, 2009) they have done evaluation of MANET routing protocol AODV in order to establish the connection between the nodes since the mobile node can change their topology frequently. So their study was carried on different mobile node movement pattern which are: Random Waypoint Mobility Model, Random Walk Mobility Model and Random Direction Mobility Model. In order to evaluate the performance of the protocol with these node movement patterns, performance metrics used were Routing overhead, Throughput and Packet delivery ratio. They used 2 simulation scenarios where in the first scenario comparison was made on different mobility model varying different number of nodes 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 with fixed speed of 15m/s and in other case comparison was made to evaluate the protocol on different mobility models with varying speeds 5, 10, 15, 20 m/s and 50 nodes as constant all through. They concluded that Random waypoint model is best for AODV compared to other mobility models as the protocol produces highest throughput than compared to others.

Other related work from (Nyirenda, 2009) gives the similar working of MANET routing protocols AODV, OLSR, DSR and TORA on OPNET 14.5. Their work carried out for study the performance of the four protocols by different performance metrics which are: Network load, Packet delivery ratio, Packet end-to-end delay and Throughput. The simulation setup which was implemented on 6 different scenarios where the traffic passing on to the network was ranging from low to high network load, nodes changing from 5, 20, 50 and with speed ranging from 10 m/s to 28 m/s. Mobility model used in this was Random waypoint model for mobility pattern. They conclusions included in their work showed that OLSR performed better compared to the other protocols as it has a bad routing overhead and hence it is well suited for large and complex networks. So apart from routing overhead OLSR performed better but with routing overhead DSR is better. But when in small network AODV is much better compared to other protocols. So finally, proactive protocols perform well in high capacity links whereas reactive protocols perform better in low capacity networks.

From another paper (Maltz, 2001), we see that working on demand routing protocols in MANET was done where DSR protocol was compared to other on demand protocols like AODV, TORA and DSDV. Simulation setup carried is represented in tables below:

With the above simulation setup the protocols were evaluated based on the performance metrics used which was Packet delivery ratio, Routing overhead, Path optimality and lower speed of nodes. The conclusions showed that DSR performed well when referred to packet loss rate and routing over head is concerned. Of all careful implementation done with all the above parameters tested on the experiment test beds DSR out performed in every case scenario used when compared all the other protocols used in this setup.

2.3 Background Work

A network can be said as association of different systems or organizations where sharing the information can be done collectively. Whereas in computing terms it can be simply defined as a group of computers connected together logically to share information like printing, faxing, etc… The network can be divided into 2 types based on their working behaviour. They are:

Infrastructure network: These networks are used where the topology is said to be limited and there is a fixed point like base station (generally referred as router) to transmit signals and the end points which are connected to base station communicate with each other devices on the network switching from one base station to another. When a node moves out of range within its network, then it is said to be connected to another base station range where this process is referred as handoff. We can often see this type of mechanisms in infrastructure and fixed or wired networks.

Infrastructure less network: These networks are a typical type of networks where there are no such fixed nodes or topologies on the network and the end pints or devices on the network are free to communicate with each other devices on the network as each device on the network behave themselves as routers and encourages communication process all over the network. By this we can say that wireless technology is a promising technology that can tolerate the information exchange worldwide. In the last decade we can also see the constant increase in the growth wireless technology issues, one of which being mobile devices such as laptops, cell phones, PDA’s etc… Ad hoc networks are also the part of this type of network.

Mobile Ad hoc network is a new technology emerged with the hypothesis of wireless networks. These networks are very typical and do not use any fixed infrastructure for communication process. The nodes connected in these networks are wireless links which are mobile in nature and communicate with each other mobile node in the network with radio transmission and topology is said to establish by the intermediate nodes on the network which are helpful for communication process. As there are no fixed infrastructure and limited topology constraints the nodes on the network are free to join and leave the network and this is possible as the nodes on the network are mobile. Due to this random movement of the nodes in the network the topology of the network changes dynamically. Due to this change protocol must be able to acclimatize with these movements and are also responsible to maintain the routes of the information travelled without disturbing network connectivity.

This concept of ad hoc network allows each node on its network to act like router, resulting in the flow of information exchange with multi hop routing. These types of networks are widely used in military and other rescue applications. (Saadawi, 2003)

2.4 Routing:

Routing is the process of moving the data from one place of the network to another. The one end should be the source which intends to transfer the data to the destination (other end). The concept of routing has been there since 1970s but it has caught the move in 1980s. In 1970s networks were simple and today there are large scale networks in existence. To move the data from one host to another at least one router is required in the network. Router has all the information regarding hosts in the network and it can manipulate the best possible route as well. (Javvin, 2004)

Routing takes place at Layer 3 in OSI 7 layer Model. Some of the protocols at layer 3 are IP and IS-IS. These protocols carry the data between source and destination along with their addresses in the data packet. Routing involves two basic activities; Path Determination and Switching. These two activities are capable to determine the optical routing path and to transfer the data packets through internetworking. This is called Switching. Switching can still be easy where as determining the reliable path is difficult.

Path Determination:

Routing make use of the different routing protocols to determine the best possible path to deliver the data. Routing protocols use the metric to calculate which the best possible path to accomplish the task is. The metric used could be path bandwidth, path length, delay etc. to determine the optimal path. To determine the path in the network, routing algorithms maintains the routing tables which are used to store the routing information about the network. Routers communicate with each other in order to maintain their routing tables which make communication easier and faster. Routing information can vary according to the routing algorithm used for the process. (Cisco, 2010)


Apart from path determination, router shows one more activity; Packet Switching. Switching simply means forwarding the required data from one interface to the another in order to reach the destination. In this case, the data to be forwarded is packet. The next interface address is decided by using the destination address present in the packet. Though the nodes know the next hop address, they still need to know how to use it. So for that reason they use routing tables. The routing table throws the packet away when the destination is unknown. But when the destination is known routing table posses all the interface information forming the route to the destination. (2006)

The next hop address could be another host or either it could be a router. According to ISO developed hierarchical terminology, the systems which have the capability to forward the data from the source to the destination are called Intermediate Systems (IS) and the systems which fails to do so are called as End systems (ES). When it is a router it follows the same procedure as this one, and if it is a host it simply forwards the packet. In packet switching, the Layer 3 address of the source and the destination remains the same to authenticate the original sender and the receiver. However the Layer 2 address (MAC) changes from router to router and from router to host which at last determines the destination host. (Cisco, 2010)

2.5 Ad hoc Networks

An ad hoc network is a collection of many autonomous nodes connected together by radio waves and maintain the connectivity in decentralised manner. Wireless ad hoc networks are connected through wireless links so there is no need of any physical medium and hence contend of the medium is always there such as noise, interference and fading. On ad hoc networks each node functions as a node and a router itself. It simply means there is no need of an additional switch or a router to route the data and the control is given to the nodes themselves. (Yang Li, 2010)

2.6 Mobile Ad hoc Networks:

A Mobile Ad hoc Network is an autonomous network formed by hundreds or thousands of nodes. These networks don’t need any infrastructure as they can act as a node and router itself. They are free to move anywhere in the network and are connected through radio links. The only limitation with the MANETs is that they can communicate in a particular rage of the radio waves and outside the network they need some additional arrangements to communicate. To overcome this limitation the Intermediate Node or sometimes called as Relays are brought into picture. Intermediate nodes help in forwarding the packets to the destination. In MANET nodes are free to travel anywhere in the network, hence network topology cannot be fixed for such networks and it keeps changing depending on the current location of the nodes. (ANTDS, 2001)

The fundamental differences between the wired networks and MANET are:

  • Asymmetric Links
  • Redundant Link
  • Interference
  • Dynamic Topology

2.7 Characteristics of MANETs

There are several MANET routing protocols which should handle the several inherent characteristics of MANETs as follows as mentioned in (Subbarao)(Jain, 2005):

  • Dynamic Topologies: Since the MANET is infrastructure less ad hoc networks, the nodes are free to move arbitrarily. The mobility of nodes may be random and so unpredictable. So the links between the nodes may be unidirectional or bidirectional at times.
  • Bandwidth Constrained, Variable Capacity Wireless Links: Wireless links generally are bandwidth constrained. Since there is a lower capacity in wireless links as compared to the wired links, the traffic congestion is typical rather than different.
  • Energy/Power Constrained Operation: Energy consumption is vital in MANETs as these nodes operate typically off power limited sources. Some or all nodes in MANETs rely on batteries.
  • Limited Physical Security: Wireless networks like MANETs are more vulnerable with the security issues available with them. Issues like eavesdropping, jammer attack, spoofing and denial of service attacks must be carefully considered.

2.8 Need of MANET Routing Protocols

A mobile ad hoc routing protocol is used to discover new routes and maintain the existing routes between the nodes in the network. MANET (Mobile Ad Hoc Network) is the collecting of mobile nodes which are present in random manner in the network has the capacity to communicate and exchange information effectively over the network by facilitating the intermediate nodes for their communication. The essential task of a MANET protocol is to create or discover the correct and efficient routes between the nodes so that information can be delivered accurately with respect to time. Route construction should be done with less overhead and minimal bandwidth consumption for effective communication.

2.9 Applications of MANETs

Applications of MANETs can be used in many critical situations today and are increasing widely. There are many applications of MANETs today and some of them are mentioned here. An ideal application is for search and rescue operations. Such kind of operations is characterized by the networks without having an infrastructure present. One of the reasons for this may be because all of the equipment was destroyed or may be the region is too remote. Rescuer must be capable of communicating to use their energy fairly and also they must maintain the security. Carrying the equipments for communication that the rescuers are already using makes the job easier.

The commercial application for MANETs includes computing everywhere which means the mobile devices are free to move anywhere in the network and yet it is possible to be in communication with the devices. The computers are allowed to forward the data to another computer or data networks may be extended far beyond the considered reach. Such networks may be more widely available and much easier in use.

Another important application of MANETs is Sensor Networks. Sensor networks are composed of very large number of small sensors which are able to detect number of properties of the area, for example; temperature, pressure, toxins, pollutions etc. In this case, the capability of sensor network is much limited. So there is always need to forward data to the central computer and for this purpose they have to rely upon others in order to forward data to the central computer. The sensor networks individually are limited in their computing capabilities but together can be very effective and the key to future homeland security. But individual sensors because of their limited computing capabilities can prove prone to failure and loss.

There are many other applications of MANETs like personal area networking where the communicating nodes may be mobile phones, laptops etc. Also this has a potential in military operations with the nodes of the network as soldiers, tanks and airplanes. Many more areas includes civilian environment to diverse taxi cab networks, conference rooms, boats and ships. (Bluetronix, 2006)

2.10 Classification of Routing Protocols

According to (Jain, 2005), ad hoc routing protocols can be classified mainly into two categories:

    1. Table driven (proactive) Routing

2.10.1 Proactive (Table-Driven) Routing Protocols

These routing protocols are similar to and come as a natural extension of those for the wired networks. In proactive routing, each node has one or more tables that contain the latest information of the routes to any node in the network. Each row has the next hop for reaching a node/subnet and the cost of this route. Various table-driven protocols differ in the way the information about a change in topology is propagated through all nodes in the network. (LinuxOnly)

In proactive routing protocol each node maintains the up to date routing information of all nodes in the network. Here each node maintains the routing table and broadcast it when there is a change in network topology. As soon as source needs the route to the destination it can select from the routing table. The routing table is exchanged periodically by broadcasting to all nodes in the network to keep track of the new message even though the topology is not changed. Each nodes has the routing information of all nodes in the network though most of it undesired. Advantages of proactive protocols are that the communication experiences a minimal delay and routes are up to date. Disadvantage is that the routes are broken as a result of mobility of nodes. (Chang)

Following are the examples of table driven protocols: GSR and OLSR and some other proactive routing protocols are FSR, HSR, ZHLSR, CGSR and WRP etc. OLSR (Optimized Link State Routing)

OLSR Protocol is based on traditional link state algorithm which supports point to point routing strategy. In this strategy the nodes keeps exchanging the information periodically in order to maintain the network topology within the network. OLSR is an optimization version of link state protocols. That means it keeps flooding the topological changes information to all the hosts across the network when happens. OLSR is also proved beneficial for the reason that it minimizes the size of each control message exchanged and also it avoids each node to rebroadcast during the updating of the routes. It uses the Multi Point Replaying (MPR) strategy to do the above task. For MPR strategy each node creates a set of all of its neighbouring nodes, generally called multipoint relays of the node, in the network to transmit the packet once again. Each node in the particular set can receive and process the packet but only cannot retransmit it. To use MRPs, each node has to keep broadcasting periodically to all one hop neighbours using hello messages. Another method to reduce the overhead is to provide the shortest path. When the time interval is reduced for the control messages transmission, it can prove more reactive to the topological changes (Kuosmanen).

The implementation of OLSR protocol basically uses two control messages; Hello message and Topology Control (TC). The hello messages are to be sent only one hop away from the host and are used for finding the link state information and host’s neighbours. MPR selector sets are constructed with Hello messages which explain which host in the network has chosen this host to act as MPR and using the information the host can select its own set of MPRs. The Topology control (TC) messages are to be broadcasted across entire network about the advertised neighbours and it includes at least the MPR selector list. As OLSR is proactive approach and it keeps updating the routing table periodically, the TC messages are also broadcasted periodically and the hosts with MPR selector set can only forward the TC messages.

There can also be MID message which is Multiple Interface Declaration message to declare that the announcing hosts can have multiple OLSR interface addresses. And again MID message are broadcasted throughout entire network and only by MPRs.

2.10.2 Reactive (Source Initiated) Routing Protocols

These protocols take a lazy approach to routing. They do not maintain or constantly update their route tables with the latest route topology. Reactive routing is also known as on-demand routing. The Reactive Routing Protocols are also called as Source initiated Demand Driven protocols. They are called so because the routes are discovered only when needed by source.

Source initiated on demand networks cerates routing only when desired by the source node. When source wants to communicate with destination then it invokes the route discovery mechanism to find the path to the destination. The route discovery process is completed once a route is found or all possible are identified. Once the rout is formed between source and destination it is maintained by a route maintenance procedure until the destination becomes inaccessible or the route is no longer desired. (Chang)

These Examples of reactive routing protocols are dynamic Source Routing (DSR), Ad hoc on-demand distance vector routing AODV, ABR, SSA, CBRP, and RDMAR. AODV (Ad hoc On Demand Distance Vector)

Ad hoc On Demand Distance Vector protocol as the name implies it is an On Demand that is, Reactive Protocol. AODV is capable of both unicast and multicast routing. It is an on demand algorithm, it means that it builds routes between nodes only as desired by source nodes. It uses the concepts of DSR routing for route discovery and route maintenance and DSDV protocol for the concept of sequence number. It uses sequence number concept to ensure the freshness of routes. The ad hoc on-demand Distance vector algorithm facilitates the self-starting, multi hop and dynamic routing between participating nodes to establish and maintain an ad hoc network. AODV algorithm enables the nodes to find the routes for new destinations as and when they are needed and the nodes are not required to maintain the routes to the destination that are not in the part of active communication. It also enables the nodes in the formation of multicast groups and enables the nodes to respond quickly to link breakages and topological changes in the network thus the operation of AODV is loop free and thus avoids the Balham Ford count to infinity problem.

AODV routing protocol is a simple and effective routing protocol for Ad hoc networks. It also uses the concept of hop by hope routing and sequence numbers from DSDV protocol.

The following are the message types defined by AODV they are:

Route request (RREQ),

Route replies (RREP),

Route error (RERR) and group hellos (GRPH) this message types are handled by UDP and IP header.

The route request message format contains the following fields:

Source address: the address of the node which originates the route request

Source Sequence number: the current sequence number to be used in deciding the route for the source request

Destination address: the address of the target node for which the route is initialized.

Destination Sequence numbers: the sequence number received by source for route towards the destination.

Broadcast ID: The sequence number by which a RREQ route request can be uniquely identified.

Hop counts: the number of the hops to be taken from the source node to reach the destination node that handles the Route request.

The Route Reply message format contains the following fields

Destination address: the address of the destination node for which the route is abounded

Destination sequence number: the destination sequence number related to the route

Source address: the address of the source node that originates the route request

Lifetime: the time for which nodes receiving the route reply considers the route to be valid.

Hop counts: the number of hops to be taken from source to destination.

The route error message format contains the following fields:

Unreachable destination address: The address of the destination that has become unreachable due to link failure. (Arbia, 2008)

In AODV the only nodes that take active participation in routing process are the nodes that sit in direct path between source and destination. The nodes which do not lie on active path do not take participate or maintain the routing table, thus AODV minimize the number of control messages sent between two nodes. As long as there is a valid routes between the source and destination for communication, AODV does not play any role and when a new route to a new destination is required and if the route to the destination does not exist only then the source node initialize the route discovery process by broadcasting the RREQ message to find the route to destination. The

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