Chameleon : rapid deployment of adaptive communication-aware applications
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Mobile ad hoc networks create communication links without the aid of any infrastructure, forwarding packets among mobile nodes. The MANET research community has identified several fundamental challenges, among which the most prominent is discovering an optimal route between two nodes. Existing work has proposed a plethora of routing protocols. Since each protocol implements its own philosophy and algorithm to target a specific purpose, routing protocols in MANETs show very different characteristics. Selecting a particular protocol for an application or deployment environment involves evaluating many complex inter-dependent tradeoffs and can be an overwhelming task for an application designer. However, this decision can have a significant impact on the success of a system in terms of performance, cost, and responsiveness. Emerging distributed applications deployed in MANETs inherently experience highly dynamic situations, which necessitate real-time routing protocol selection in response to varying scenarios. Most of the relevant research in this area relies on simulation studies or empirical analysis to select a routing protocol, requiring an infeasible amount of time and resources for the approaches to be used in real-time decision making. In my dissertation work, I designed the Chameleon framework to facilitate real-time routing protocol decisions based on given application and environmental characteristics. My approach develops analytical models for important network layer performance measures capturing various inter-dependent factors that affect routing protocol behavior. I provide an analytical framework that expresses protocol performance metrics in terms of environment-, protocol-, and application-dependent parameters. This effort has resulted in detailed models for two important metrics: end-to-end delay and throughput. I specify detailed models for the parameters embedded in the models with respect to the ability of network deployers, protocol designers, and application developers to reasonably provide the information. Finally, in a systematic manner, I outline the Chameleon software framework to integrate the analytical models with parameters specified by these three groups of stakeholders.