Journal article Open Access

Packet Delay and Energy Consumption in Non-homogeneous Networks

Abdelrahman, Omer, H.; Gelenbe, Erol

This paper studies whether a packet will ultimately succeed in reaching a given destination, how longthis will take and how much energy may be expended, in the context of a network with imperfectrouting tables and non-homogeneous network characteristics. It also investigates the effect of non-cooperativeroutersthatmayactuallychoosetodropcertainpacketsiftheyviewthemtobedangerousfordestinationnodes,aswhenpacketsmaybecarryingworms,virusesormalware,andwhencertainpackets have been identified as being part of a Denial of Service attack. The approach we take is toconstruct a probability model for packet travel from a source to destination node in a large non-homogeneous multiple hop network.The randomness models the lack of precise routing informationat each of the network hops, and randomness in routing can also be used to model networks whereone wishes to explore alternate paths in a network to discover the more reliable paths, or those thatmay have other desirable characteristics such as lower delay or lower packet loss. We assume thateach packet has the same time out: when the time-out elapses, the packet is dropped if it has notyet reached the destination, and some time later the source will retransmit a duplicate packet. A numerical–analytical solution is developed to compute the average travel time of the packet fromsource to destination and to estimate its total energy consumption. Two applications of these resultsare then presented. In the first one, the packet is an ‘attack’packet (e.g. a Denial of Service packet, orsome malware) and as it approaches the destination node it is being frequently inspected by routersthat may decide to drop it if they correctly detect that it is a threat. The second example considers awireless network where areas which are remote from the source and destination nodes have poorer wireless coverage so that packet losses become more frequent as packets ‘unknowingly’ (due to routing table errors) meander away from the main coverage area. Other applications in wireless networks are also provided and a simulation study is performed to validate the analytical model.

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