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Time-critical Underwater Sensor Diffusion with No Proactive Exchanges and Negligible Reactive Floods


In this paper we study multi-hop ad hoc routing in a scalable Underwater Sensor Network (UWSN), which is a novel network paradigm for ad hoc investigation of the world below the water surface. Unlike existing Underwater Acoustic Networks (UAN), the new UWSN paradigm dispatches large number (in the thousands) of unmanned low-cost sensor nodes to locally monitor and report otherwise not easily accessible underwater events in a time-critical manner. Due to the large propagation latency and very low bandwidth of the acoustic channel, a new protocol stack and corresponding models are required as conventional approaches fail. In particular, we show that neither proactive routing message exchange nor reactive/on-demand flooding is adequate in the challenging new underwater environment. Unlike the terrestrial scenarios, on-demand flooding cannot be both reliable and efficient due to widespread collisions caused by the large propagation delay. On the other hand, as in terrestrial scenarios, proactive routing is more expensive and less efficient than on-demand routing in typical underwater environments.We propose a “conservative” communications architecture that minimizes the number of all packet transmissions to avoid possible acoustic collisions. This is implemented in the non-intrusive Under-Water Diffusion (UWD), which is a multi-hop ad hoc routing and in-network processing protocol with no proactive routing message exchange and negligible amount of on-demand floods. To achieve its design goal, UWD does not rely on GPS or power hungry motors to control currents. Instead, UWD is designed in a minimalist’s framework, which assumes homogeneous GPS-free nodes and random node mobility. Our simulation study verifies the effectiveness and efficiency of our design.

Paper: PDF file of paper

Information & Date

Ad Hoc Networks Journal (Elsevier), , February. 2007


Uichin Lee
Jiejun Kong
Mario Gerla
Joon-Sang Park
Eugenio Magistretti