Mobile Ad Hoc Network

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Introduction

What is Mobile Ad Hoc Network?

With rapid development of wireless technology, the Mobile Ad Hoc Network (MANET) has emerged as a new type of wireless network. MANET is a collection of wireless mobile nodes (e.g. laptops) that dynamically function as a network without the use of any existing infrastructure and centralized administration. It is an autonomous system where each node operates not only as an end system but also as a router to forward packets for other nodes. Since the nodes in MANET move around, the wireless links break and re-establish frequently. Furthermore, most of mobile nodes are resource limited in computing capability and battery power and therefore traditional computing content routing protocols are not suitable for MANET. Several ad hoc routing protocols have been proposed for each node acting as router and maintaining routing information. There are many other applications of MANET. For examples, MANET can be used to provide emergency Services when the network is impaired due to the damaging of existing infrastructure [8]. Computer scientists have predicted a world of ubiquitous computing in which computers will be all around us, constantly performing mundane tasks to make our lives a little easier. These ubiquitous computers connect in mobile ad hoc mode and change the environment or react to the change of the environment where they are suited. MANET is also found useful in the so-called sensor dust network to coordinate the activities and reports of a large collection of tiny sensor devices which could offer detailed information about terrain or environmental dangerous conditions.

Problem Statement and Motivation

Most current ad hoc routing protocols assume that the wireless network is benign and every node in the network strictly follows the routing behavior and is willing to forward packets for other nodes. Most of these protocols cope well with the dynamically changing topology. However, they do not address the problems when misbehavior nodes present in the network.A commonly observed misbehavior is packet dropping. In a practical MANET, most devices have very limited computing and battery power while packet forwarding consumes a lot of such resources. Thus some of the mobile devices would not like to forward the packets for the benefit of others and they drop packets not destined to them. On the other hand, they still make use of other nodes to forward packets that they originate. These misbehaved nodes are very difficult to identify because we cannot tell that whether the packets are dropped intentionally by the misbehaved nodes or dropped due to the node having moved out of transmission range or other link error. Packet drop significantly decreases the network performance.Traditional security mechanisms are generally not suitable for MANET because:

  1. The network lacks central infrastructure to apply traditional security mechanism such as access control, authentication and trusted third party.
  2. Limited bandwidth, battery lifetime, and computation power prohibits the deployment of complex routing protocols or encryption algorithms. New security models or mechanisms suitable for MANET must be found.

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