IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Vol.60, No.6, 1554-1569, 2015
Optimal Energy-Aware Epidemic Routing in DTNs
In this work, we investigate the use of epidemic routing in energy constrained delay tolerant networks (DTNs). In epidemic routing, messages are relayed by intermediate nodes at contact opportunities, i.e., when pairs of nodes come within the transmission range of each other. Each node needs to decide whether to forward its message upon contact with a new node based on its own residual energy level and the age of that message. We mathematically characterize the fundamental trade-off between energy conservation and a measure of Quality of Service as a dynamic energy-dependent optimal control problem. We prove that in the mean-field regime, the optimal dynamic forwarding decisions follow simple threshold-based structures in which the forwarding threshold for each node depends on its current remaining energy. We then characterize the nature of this dependence. Our simulations reveal that the optimal dynamic policy significantly outperforms heuristics.