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Mobile Ad hoc Networking (MANET): Routing Protocol Performance Issues and Evaluation Considerations
RFC 2501

Document type: RFC - Informational (January 1999)
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2013-03-02
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IESG State: RFC 2501 (Informational)
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Network Working Group                                          S. Corson
Request for Comments: 2501                        University of Maryland
Category: Informational                                        J. Macker
                                               Naval Research Laboratory
                                                            January 1999

                   Mobile Ad hoc Networking (MANET):
   Routing Protocol Performance Issues and Evaluation Considerations

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   This memo first describes the characteristics of Mobile Ad hoc
   Networks (MANETs), and their idiosyncrasies with respect to
   traditional, hardwired packet networks.  It then discusses the effect
   these differences have on the design and evaluation of network
   control protocols with an emphasis on routing performance evaluation
   considerations.

1. Introduction

   With recent performance advancements in computer and wireless
   communications technologies, advanced mobile wireless computing is
   expected to see increasingly widespread use and application, much of
   which will involve the use of the Internet Protocol (IP) suite. The
   vision of mobile ad hoc networking is to support robust and efficient
   operation in mobile wireless networks by incorporating routing
   functionality into mobile nodes.  Such networks are envisioned to
   have dynamic, sometimes rapidly-changing, random, multihop topologies
   which are likely composed of relatively bandwidth-constrained
   wireless links.

   Within the Internet community, routing support for mobile hosts is
   presently being formulated as "mobile IP" technology.  This is a
   technology to support nomadic host "roaming", where a roaming host
   may be connected through various means to the Internet other than its
   well known fixed-address domain space. The host may be directly
   physically connected to the fixed network on a foreign subnet, or be

Corson & Macker              Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 2501                MANET Performance Issues            January 1999

   connected via a wireless link, dial-up line, etc.  Supporting this
   form of host mobility (or nomadicity) requires address management,
   protocol interoperability enhancements and the like, but core network
   functions such as hop-by-hop routing still presently rely upon pre-
   existing routing protocols operating within the fixed network. In
   contrast, the goal of mobile ad hoc networking is to extend mobility
   into the realm of autonomous, mobile, wireless domains, where a set
   of nodes--which may be combined routers and hosts--themselves form
   the network routing infrastructure in an ad hoc fashion.

2. Applications

   The technology of Mobile Ad hoc Networking is somewhat synonymous
   with Mobile Packet Radio Networking (a term coined via during early
   military research in the 70's and 80's), Mobile Mesh Networking (a
   term that appeared in an article in The Economist regarding the
   structure of future military networks) and Mobile, Multihop, Wireless
   Networking (perhaps the most accurate term, although a bit
   cumbersome).

   There is current and future need for dynamic ad hoc networking
   technology.  The emerging field of mobile and nomadic computing, with
   its current emphasis on mobile IP operation, should gradually broaden
   and require highly-adaptive mobile networking technology to
   effectively manage multihop, ad hoc network clusters which can
   operate autonomously or, more than likely, be attached at some
   point(s) to the fixed Internet.

   Some applications of MANET technology could include industrial and
   commercial applications involving cooperative mobile data exchange.
   In addition,  mesh-based mobile networks can be operated as robust,
   inexpensive alternatives or enhancements to cell-based mobile network
   infrastructures. There are also existing and future military
   networking requirements for robust, IP-compliant data services within
   mobile wireless communication networks [1]--many of these networks
   consist of highly-dynamic autonomous topology segments. Also, the
   developing technologies of "wearable" computing and communications
   may provide applications for MANET technology. When properly combined
   with satellite-based information delivery, MANET technology can
   provide an extremely flexible method for establishing communications
   for fire/safety/rescue operations or other scenarios requiring

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