Sunday, May 1, 2005

Data transportation in Internet-based mobile ad-hoc network


By Humayun Bakht

Today's world is one of technological revolutions. Several recent inventions in various fields have been introduced, and with time we hope to see more inventions in the future. With all of these inventions, our communication structure has become strong enough to allow us to stay in contact with anyone, in any part of the world, without requiring much effort on our behalf. The existing communication structures are mainly based on wireless networks, which were first introduced back in 1980's.

These cellular systems, such as GSM, and those used by Motorola, have evolved into various advanced forms and are currently in use in our modern day-to-day life. Not specific to the communication sector, wireless networks are in use in many different fields, including banking, business, education, etc.

The adaptability of our current wireless structure is always an issue. Efforts have been underway for over a decade to transform current wireless communications structures into a form where they rely less on the availability of supporting structures. Based on that same idea, some of the latest inventions, such as Bluetooth and ad-hoc wireless sensors, have been introduced. These technologies allowed scientists to review an old concept of the mobile ad-hoc network.

The mobile ad-hoc network is a communication structure that can be formed by two or more mobile nodes without the intervention of any supporting infrastructure. This type of networking can be used for almost the same purpose as its counter part, i.e. fixed wireless networks, but there are still a number of issues that await suitable answers in order to fit within the communication structure of mobile ad-hoc networks. Among many of the existing issues, the issue of achieving reliable data transportation in Internet-based mobile ad-hoc network is gaining importance because of the capability to satisfy the requirements of mobile computing and various commercial mobile Internet applications, commonly known as the future networking environments.

Some of the distinctive features of mobile ad-hoc networks are wireless-ness and high mobility. The communication infrastructure of mobile ad hoc networks mainly depend on the wireless links, in which every mobile node functions as a router, forwarding and receiving packets for all other nodes in the network. Internet applications, such as the Web browser and file transfer, use reliable data transport services. TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) supports this service.