Routing Protocols in Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks

Mobile Ad-hoc Networks

An ad-hoc network is a collection of wireless mobile hosts forming a temporary network without the aid of any stand-alone infrastructure or centralized administration.Mobile Ad-hoc networks are self-organizing and self-configuring multihop wireless networks where, the structure of the network changes dynamically. This is mainly due to the mobility of the nodes [8]. Nodes in these networks utilize the same random access wireless channel, cooperating in a friendly manner to engaging themselves in multihop forwarding. The nodes in the network not only acts as hosts but also as routers that route data to/from other nodes in network. In mobile ad-hoc networks where there is no infrastructure support as is the case with wireless networks, and since a destination no de might be out of range of a source node transmitting packets; a routing procedure is always needed to find a path so as to forward the packets appropriately between the source and the destination. Within a cell, a base station can reach all mobile nodes without routing via broadcast in common wireless networks. In the case of ad-hoc networks, each node must be able to forward data for other nodes. This creates additional problems along with the problems of dynamic topology which is unpredictable connectivity changes.

• Problems with routing in Mobile Ad-hoc Net-works

– Asymmetric links: Most of the wired networks rely on the symmetric links which are always fixed. But this is not a case with ad-hoc networks as the nodes are mobile and constantly changing their position within network. For example consider a MANET (Mobile Ad-hoc Network) where node B sends a signal to node A but this does not tell anything about the quality of the connection in the reverse direction.

– Routing Overhead: In wireless ad hoc networks, no des often change their location within network. So, some stale routes are generated in the routing table which leads to unnecessary routing overhead.

– Interference: This is the major problem with mobile ad-hoc networks as links come and go depending on the transmission characteristics, one transmission might interfere with another one and no de might overhear transmissions of other nodes and can corrupt the total transmission.

– Dynamic Topology: This is also the major problem with ad-hoc routing since the topology is not constant. The mobile node might move or medium characteristics might change. In ad-hoc networks, routing tables must somehow reject these changes in topology and routing algorithms have to be adapted. For example in a fixed network routing table updating takes place for every 30sec. This updating frequency might be very low for ad-hoc networks.

• Classification of routing Protocols in MANET’s

Classification of routing protocols in MANET’s can be done in many ways, but most of these are done depending on routing strategy and network structure. According to the routing strategy the routing protocols can be categorized as Table-driven and source initiated, while depending on the network structure these are classified as at routing, hierarchical routing and geographic position assisted routing. Both the Table-driven and source initiated protocols come under the Flat routing.

Table-Driven routing protocols (Proactive)

These protocols are also called as proactive protocols since they maintain the routing information even before it is needed. Each and every node in the network maintains routing information to every other node in the network. Routes information is generally kept in the routing tables and is periodically updated as the network topology changes. Many of these routing protocols come from the link-state routing. There exist some differences between the protocols that come under this category depending on the routing information being updated in each routing table. Furthermore, these routing protocols maintain different number of tables. The proactive protocols are not suitable for larger networks, as they need to maintain node entries for each and every node in the routing table of every node. This causes more overhead in the routing table leading to consumption of more bandwidth.

On Demand routing protocols (Reactive)

These protocols are also called reactive protocols since they don’t maintain routing information or routing activity at the network nodes if there is no communication. If a node wants to send a packet to another node then this proto col searches for the route in an on-demand manner and establishes the connection in order to transmit and receive the packet. The route discovery usually occurs by flooding the route request packets throughout the network.

Destination Sequenced Distance Vector (DSDV) Protocol

The destination sequenced distance vector routing protocol is a proactive routing protocol which is a modification of conventional Bellman-Ford routing algorithm. This protocol adds a new attribute, sequence number, to each route table entry at each node. Routing table is maintained at each node and with this table; node transmits the packets to other nodes in the network. This protocol was motivated for the use of data exchange along changing and arbitrary paths of interconnection which may not be close to any base station.

Protocol Overview and activities

Each node in the network maintains routing table for the transmission of the packets and also for the connectivity to different stations in the network. These stations list for all the available destinations, and the number of hops required to reach each destination in the routing table. The routing entry is tagged with a sequence number which is originated by the destination station. In order to maintain the consistency, each station transmits and updates its routing table periodically. The packets being broadcasted between stations indicate which stations are accessible and how many hops are required to reach that particular station. The packets may be transmitted containing the layer 2 or layer 3 address.

Routing information is advertised by broadcasting or multicasting the packets which are transmitted periodically as when the nodes move within the network. The DSDV protocol requires that each mobile station in the network must constantly, advertise to each of its neighbors, its own routing table. Since, the entries in the table my change very quickly, the advertisement should be made frequently to ensure that every node can locate its neighbours in the network. This agreement is placed, to ensure the shortest number of hops for a route to a destination; in this way the node can exchange its data even if there is no direct communication link.

The data broadcast by each node will contain its new sequence number and the following information for each new route:

– The destination address

– The number of hops required to reach the destination and

– The new sequence number, originally stamped by the destination

The transmitted routing tables will also contain the hardware address, network address of the mobile host transmitting them. The routing tables will contain the sequence number created by the transmitter and hence the most new destination sequence number is preferred as the basis for making forwarding decisions. This new sequence number is also updated to all the hosts in the network which may decide on how to maintain the routing entry for that originating mobile host. After receiving the route information, receiving node increments the metric and transmits information by broadcasting. Incrementing metric is done before transmission because, incoming packet will have to travel one more hop to reach its destination. Time between broadcasting the routing information packets is the other important factor to be considered. When the new information is received by the mobile host it will be retransmitted soon effecting the most rapid possible dissemination of routing information among all the co-operating mobile hosts. The mobile host cause broken links as they move from place to place within the network. The broken link may be detected by the layer2 protocol, which may be described as infinity. When the route is broken in a network, then immediately that metric is assigned an infinity metric there by determining that there is no hop and the sequence number is updated. Sequence numbers originating from the mobile hosts are defined to be even number and the sequence numbers generated to indicate infinity metrics are odd numbers. The broadcasting of the information in the DSDV protocol is of two types namely:

Full dump and incremental dump. Full dump broadcasting will carry all the routing information while the incremental dump will carry only information that has changed since last full dump. Irrespective of the two types, broadcasting is done in network protocol data units (NPDU). Full dump requires multiple NPDU’s while incremental requires only one NPDU to fit in all the information. When an information packet is received from another node, it compares the sequence number with the available sequence number for that entry. If the sequence number is larger, then it will update the routing information with the new sequence number else if the information arrives with the same sequence number it looks for the metric entry and if the number of hops is less than the previous entry the new information is updated (if information is same or metric is more then it will discard the information). While the nodes information is being updated the metric is increased by 1 and the sequence number is also increased by 2. Similarly, if a new node enters the network, it will announce itself in the network and the nodes in the network update their routing information with a new entry for the new node.

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