Reliable Communications over Heterogeneous Wireless Networks
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The recent years have seen an enormous advance in wireless communication technology and co-existence of various types of wireless networks, which requires effective inter-networking among the heterogeneous wireless networks in order to support user roaming over the networks while maintaining the connectivity. One of main challenges to achieve the connectivity over heterogeneous wireless networks is potential intermittent connections caused by user roaming. The issue is how to maintain the connection as the user roams and how to ensure service quality in the presence of a long disconnection period. In this dissertation, we apply the delay tolerant network (DTN) framework to heterogeneous terrestrial wireless networks, and propose a system architecture to achieve the connectivity in the presence of excessive long delays and intermittent paths. We study several possible approaches, discuss the applicability of each of the approaches and propose the super node architecture. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed super node architecture, we give a simulation study that compares the system performance under the super node architecture and under the epidemic based architecture. Within the proposed architecture that employs the idea of super nodes, we further study how to effectively route a message over access networks. We present a new routing technique for mobile ad-hoc networks (MANETs) based on the DTN system architecture. We introduce the concept of virtual network topology and redefine the dominating-set based routing for the challenged network environment under consideration. In addition, we propose a time based methodology to predict the probability of future contacts between node pairs to construct the virtual network topology. We present a simulation study that demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed routing approach as compared with the epidemic routing, and that the time based technique for predicting the future contacts gives better performance compared with that using the number of previous contacts. We further extend the dominating set routing technique through analyzing the underlying node mobility model. We shed some light on how using node mobility model can improve contact probability estimation. Based on our findings we propose a new algorithm that improves the routing performance by minimizing the selected dominating set size. Information security challenges in the super node architecture are introduced. We further address two main security challenges: The first is how to prevent unauthorized nodes from using the network resources, and the second is how to achieve end-to-end secure message exchange over the network. Our proposed solutions are based on asymmetric key cryptography techniques. Moreover, we introduce a new idea of separating the problem of source authentication from the problem of message authorization. We propose a new technique that employs the one-way key chain to use symmetric key cryptographic techniques to address the problems under consideration.