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Technologies>Swarm Intelligence

Mobile Ad Hoc Networks
Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks (referred to as MANETs)), are impromptu wireless communication networks increasingly appearing in the Commercial, Military, and Private sector as portable wireless computers become more and more ubiquitous. Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks allow users to access and exchange information regardless of their geographic position or proximity to infrastructure. In contrast to the infrastructure networks, all nodes in MANETs are mobile and their connections are dynamic. Unlike other mobile networks, MANETs do not require a fixed infrastructure. This offers an advantageous decentralized character to the network. Decentralization makes the networks more flexible and more robust.

Applications for MANETs are wide ranging and have use in many critical situations: An ideal application is for search and rescue operations. Such scenarios are characterized by the lack of installed communications infrastructure. This may be because all of the equipment was destroyed, or perhaps because the region is too remote. Rescuers must be able to communicate in order to make the best use of their energy, but also to maintain safety. By automatically establishing a data network with the communications equipment that the rescuers are already carrying, their job made easier.

View the Flash Animated First Responders Demo

A commercial application for MANETs includes ubiquitous computing. By allowing computers to forward data for others, data networks may be extended far beyond the usual reach of installed infrastructure. Networks may be made more widely available and easier to use.

Another application of MANETs is sensor networks. This technology is a network composed of a very large number of small sensors. These can be used to detect any number of properties of an area. Examples include temperature, pressure, toxins, pollutions, etc. The capabilities of each sensor are very limited, and each must rely on others in order to forward data to a central computer. Individual sensors are limited in their computing capability and are prone to failure and loss. Mobile ad-hoc sensor networks could be the key to future homeland security.

However MANETs are not perfect. The challenges of scalability, mobility, bandwidth limitations, and power constraints of these networks have not been completely alleviated to date. Bluetronix is developing swarm intelligent routing, the MEMs hardware, and genetic algorithms to optimize mobile routing which will help to make these networks more efficient, scalable to very large numbers, and optimal in operation.

At the center of these difficulties with MANETs are issues concerning the determination of the rules (protocols) governing the communication between the entities (nodes) in the network. One important question is how to facilitate the dynamic discovery of the most efficient route between two nodes within the network. It is important to take into account the mobility of the nodes and the lack of a fixed topology in the network.


Mobile Communications between autonomous vehicles, aircraft and ground troops in a combat theater setting

Real world examples:

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