Multicasting in Ad Hoc Networks

MANETs are useful in many application environments and do not need any infrastructure support. Collaborative computing and communications in smaller areas (buildings, organizations, conferences, etc.) can be set up using MANETs. Communications in battlefields and disaster recovery areas are other examples of application environments. Similarly communications using a network of sensors, and inter-island communications using floats over water are other potential applications of MANETs. The increasing use of collaborative applications and wireless devices may further add to the needs and usages of MANETs. Many of these potential applications of MANETs involve point-to-multipoint communication, and thus would benefit from multicasting support in the network layer.

IP multicasting – is an extension to Internet architecture to support multiple clients at network layer. The fundamental motivation behind IP multicasting is to save network and bandwidth resource via transmitting a single copy of data to reach multiple receivers simultaneously.

What makes ad hoc multicasting distinguished from Internet multicasting is that mobile nodes could move around freely and rapidly.

Ad hoc multicasting protocols in existing literature have either evolved from the Internet multicast protocol, or designed specifically for ad hoc networks. Most of these protocols attempt to adapt to the network dynamics in ad hoc networks. The primary goal of ad hoc multicasting protocols should be to construct/maintain a robust & efficient multicasting route even during high network dynamics.
Multicasting techniques in MANETs can be classified based on group dynamics or network dynamics.

A primary issue for managing multicast group dynamics is the routing path that is built for data forwarding. Most existing ad hoc multicasting protocols can be classified as tree-based or mesh-based.

In a tree-based protocol, a tree-like data forwarding path is built with the root at the source of the multicast session. In a mesh-based protocol, in contrast, multiple routes may exist between any pair of source and destination, which is intended to enrich the connectivity among group members for better resilience against topology changes.

A major source of network dynamics is node mobility and node failure.
1) Reliance on More Nodes
2) Reliance on Fewer Nodes
3) Reliance on No Nodes
4) Reliance on Stable Nodes
5) Reliance on an Overlay Layer

Book: Advances in Wireless Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks (Signals and Communication Technology) by: Maggie Xiaoyan Cheng, Deying Li

Web Resource: Reliable Multicasting in MANETs

Power Point Presentation: Efficient Overlay Multicast in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks
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