Algorithmic Problems in Ad Hoc Networks

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The ad hoc networks research agenda aligns well with the methodology and point of view of theoretical computer science, for a variety of reasons: The resource frugality that permeates the theory of algorithms and copmplexity is a perfect match for the regime of resource scarcity that is prevalent in ad hoc networks, imposed by small, power-limited processors. The potentially large scale makes principled approaches more attractive, and necessitates analysis – occasionally even asymptotic analysis. Also, the interplay of geometry, graph theory, and randomness that is a characteristic of problems arising in ad hoc networks creates many challenging problems amenable to mathematical treatment. And the field’s young age and lack of established paradigms further foment and reward theoretical exploration. This talk will review recent work by the author and collaborators on geographic routing and clock synchronization.

Research supported by NSF ITR grant CCR-0121555, and by a grant from Microsoft Research.