Allen B. MacKenzie

MANIAC Challenge

Mobile Ad Hoc Networking Interoperability And Cooperation Challenge (MANIAC Challenge)

Project website is here. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation. PI is Luiz DaSilva; Co-PI is Allen MacKenzie. Project started August 1, 2005 and ended July 31, 2010. NSF award data is here.

Abstract: Much of the research on mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) has focused on simulation and testbed studies, while plans for actual deployment of large-scale MANETs remain limited primarily to military and single-vendor public safety applications. There is uncertainty, in fact, as to whether a large-scale distributed ad hoc network created with hardware and software from many different vendors and controlled by many different administrative entities is even viable. The emergence of software-defined and cognitive radios in an ad hoc environment also opens new questions regarding how to ensure interoperability and cooperation among nodes. This project establishes a multi-institution competition, The MANIAC Challenge, that allows us to study the tension between the desire of nodes to focus only on delivery of their team’s packets (in order to preserve battery life and competitive advantage) and the need for nodes in a MANET to cooperate in order to permit the delivery of packets across the heterogeneous network. The MANIAC Challenge provides an unprecedented opportunity to observe the operation of an uncoordinated ad hoc network. By studying the outcome of the challenge, we will identify emergent behaviors in a MANET and assess whether resource sharing is an incentive-compatible strategy in the absence of monetary rewards and explicit reputation schemes. In its second year, the competition will permit observation of the effectiveness of physical and link layer adaptation schemes. Ultimately, this will impact how research in networking is conducted, stimulating hands-on and prototyping efforts that complement the currently-favored methods of simulation and mathematical analysis.