System Design for Opportunistic Networks

Sammanfattning: Device-to-device communication has been suggested as a complement to traditional cellular networks as a means of offloading cellular traffic. In this thesis we explore a solution for device-to-device communication based on opportunistic content distribution in a content-centric network. Communication opportunities arise as mobile nodes roam around in an area and occasionally enter in direct communication range with one another. We consider a node to be a pedestrian equipped with a mobile device and explore the properties of opportunistic communication in the context of content dissemination in urban areas.The contributions of this thesis lie in three areas. We first study human mobility as one of the main enablers of opportunistic communication. We introduce traces collected from a realistic pedestrian mobility simulator and demonstrate that the performance of opportunistic networks is not very sensitive to the accurate estimation of the probability distributions of mobility parameters. However, capturing the space in which mobility occurs may be of high importance. Secondly, we design and implement a middleware for opportunistic content-centric networking, and we evaluate it via a small-scale testbed, as well as through extensive simulations. We conclude that energy-saving mechanisms should be part of the middleware design, while caching should be considered only as an add-on feature. Thirdly, we present and evaluate three different energy-saving mechanisms in the context of opportunistic networking: a dual-radio architecture, an asynchronous duty-cycling scheme, and an energy-aware algorithm which takes into account node selfishness. We evaluate our proposals analytically and via simulations. We demonstrate that when a critical mass of participants is available, the performance of the opportunistic network is comparable to downloading contents directly via the cellular network in terms of energy consumption while offloading large traffic volumes from the operator.