ManetLoc: a location based approach to distributed world-knowledge in mobile ad-hoc networks

title: ManetLoc: a location based approach to distributed world-knowledge in mobile ad-hoc networks
author: Marcel van Velden
published in: April 2005
appeared as: Master of Science thesis
Man-machine interaction group
Delft University of Technology
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In every aspect of our lives people are becoming more and more dependent on the availability of (information) systems. To have access to such systems often an infrastructure of wired and/or wireless networks is required. In case of a crisis such networks are likely to become overloaded, as more than the regular amount of service request will occur. Systems might even completely go down because of overload, incidents (such as an explosion) or sabotage. Also the environment an individual in is likely to be (partially) unknown.
In this thesis a concept of a system for making multi-agent systems in mobile ad-hoc networks aware of their environment without the need of any infrastructure is provided. The main focus is on automatically building a map of the world by using observations from individuals in such an infrastructureless network. We have designed and implemented this proof of concept, ManetLoc, in the form of a simulation. No specific agent platform was used in developing the simulation, but the future use of the JADE platform was always kept in mind. The system was built upon a preexisting ad-hoc network simulation environment, Ad-hoc Simulator [Boel04].
ManetLoc simulates a building like environment where individuals are exploring an unknown world. It is assumed that each individual in the field is equipped with a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) and can communicate with other PDAs in the vicinity. Together the PDAs dynamically form ad-hoc networks. Users can enter their own observations to the PDA. Agents on these PDA’s work together, to supply the users an as complete view on the world as possible (a topological map). An agent will also provide guidance to the user if requested. Keywords: mobile ad-hoc network, agent, communication, topological map, infrastructureless, location, emergency, awareness, crisis.

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