Mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) form a class of multi-hop wireless networks that can easily be deployed on-the-fly. These are autonomous systems that do not require existing infrastructure; each participating node in the network acts as a host as well as a packet-forwarding router. In addition to the difficulties experienced by conventional wireless networks, such as wireless interference, noise and obstructions from the environment, hidden/exposed terminal problems, and limited physical security, MANETs are also characterized by dynamically changing network topology and energy constraints.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Service Requirements: Performance metrics such as throughput, delay, jitter (delay variance), bandwidth, and reliability which are usually application-specific.
QoS (quality of service): The ability of a network to deliver a guaranteed level of service to its users and/or applications.
UAV (Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle): A machine that can move through the terrain intelligently and autonomously without the need for any human intervention.
QoS Adaptation: The adaptation of the behavior of one or more network protocols according to the prevailing network conditions, so as to achieve QoS in the network.
Clustering: A networking technique in which nodes in the network group themselves according to some network attributes to form hierarchical architectures.
Cross-Layer Design: A protocol design that leverages on the interactions and dependencies between different layers of the networking protocol stack to achieve better performance. MANET (mobile ad hoc network)—self-configuring and self-maintaining network in which nodes are autonomous and distributed in nature.
Soft QoS: A compromising principle of QoS support whereby there may exist transient periods of time when the network is allowed to fall short of QoS requirements, up to a permitted threshold. The level of QoS satisfaction is thus quantified by the fraction of total disruption.