PILOT: ProbabIlistic Lightweight grOup communication sysTem for Mobile Ad Hoc Networks

Providing reliable group communication is an ever recurring issue in distributed settings. In mobile ad hoc networks, this issue becomes more significant since all nodes act as peers, while the issue gets even more challenging due to highly dynamic and unpredictable topology changes. In order to overcome these difficulties, we deviate from the conventional point of view, i.e., we fight fire with fire, by exploiting the nondeterministic nature of ad hoc networks. Inspired by the principles of gossip mechanisms and probabilistic quorum systems, we present in this paper a ProbabIlistic Lightweight grOup communication sysTem (PILOT) for ad hoc networks, a two layer system consisting of a set of protocols for reliable multicasting and data sharing in mobile ad hoc networks. The system performance, in terms of both reliability (fault tolerance) and efficiency (overhead), is predictable and controllable. We present an analysis of PILOT performance, which is used to fine tune protocol parameters to obtain the desired tradeoff between reliability and efficiency. We confirm the predictability and tunability of PILOT through simulations with ns-2.

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