Oftentimes, messages sent on a network need to be delivered to more than one particular node. On the battlefield, this could happen if certain
soldiers require specialized information that others do not need. In industrial sensor networks, a single sensor may supply multiple data
collection points or controllers with measured information. Sending information from one source to multiple destinations is referred to as
Simply flooding a message about the network is one solution to the multicasting problem, but this activity consumes power and reduces the channel
capacity. Furthermore, flooding messages to all nodes has obvious security implications. Intelligent algorithms are needed for secure, efficient
multicasting in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs). This is difficult because of a MANET's constantly changing network topology. Nodes move about
erratically, join and leave the network unannounced, and may malfunction or be destroyed.
Bluetronix's swarm intelligent routing algorithms are well-suited to multicasting applications because of their truly ad hoc nature and their
ability to constantly adapt to a changing environment. Multicasting is made possible because of the algorithms' hop-by-hop decision-making,
based on the behavior of social insects such as ants.
The figure below shows multicasting in action in a battlefield situation. Each soldier is equipped with a tactical radio device, and a commander
radios information to a chosen set of soldiers (indicated with yellow circles). The routing algorithm ensures that the messages get to all of those
destinations efficiently, possibly hopping through one or more intermediate points.
Related to multicasting is geocasting. In geocasting, all nodes that lie within a given geographical area are the intended recipients of a
message. For example, the figure below shows a yellow "danger area," to which a commander sends a warning signal without it reaching the other
soldiers in the network.
Geocasting is made possible because Bluetronix's swarm intelligent algorithms are location-aware. In other words, the networking stack is
aware of the locations of nodes through a swarm intelligent location service which provides for location, tracking, and intelligent routing.