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Controlled mobility in self-organizing networks
Enrico Natalizio
Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informatica e Sistemistica - Universita della Calabria - Italy


Self-organization is a great concept for building scalable systems consisting of a large number of subsystems. Key factors in similar environments are coordination and collaboration of the subsystems for achieving a shared goal. In the last few years, the concept of self-organization has been applied to wireless networks. Also, in this context the self-organization concept can be summarized as the interaction of multiple components on a common global objective. This collaborative work may be realized through a central or distributed control and the primary objectives of similar networks are scalability, reliability and sustainability. Moreover, with miniaturization of computing elements we have seen many mobile devices appear in the market that can collaborate in an ad hoc fashion without requiring any previous infrastructure control. This consideration allows us to consider the mobility as a fundamental aspect of the self-organizing networks. We can identify three macro-categories of mobility: random, pred ictable and controlled. In the first category, mobile devices are supposed to move according to a random mobility pattern. Many probabilistic models have been proposed in order to foresee devices' movements. Unfortunately random mobility represents more of a problem to solve than an advantage to exploit. A network access point mounted on a means of public transportation that moves with a periodic schedule represents a case of predictable mobility. A predictable schedule permits an easier, programmable accomplishment of some desired target, but mobility is not considered as a network primitive yet. Finally, controlled mobility generally consists of mobile devices introduced in the network and moving to specified destinations with defined mobility patterns for specific objectives. The number of applications where controlled mobility is beneficial is enormous, and it spreads from underwater monitoring of seismic movements to planet exploration, from environmental sensing to site surveillance and localization of intruders. The coordination requires communication, computation and control among the devices of the network. All these aspects are covered by the vast literature of theoretical and practical results in control theory and robotics. Instead, in the networking research world, mobility has always been seen as an issue to face. Only recently, controlled mobility gained an important role also for communications matters. In fact, we can figure out many goals that could be achieved through controlled mobility, such as: coverage management, energy consumption reduction, transport, network and data link layer parameters' improvement, etc. The seminar will focus on advantages, issues and recent research results of controlled mobility in self-organizing networks.


Controlled mobility, Self-organizing networks