Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Hesham H. Ali


This thesis presents a new approach to routing in ad-hoc wireless networks using virtual backbones that may be approximated by the graph theoretic concept of dominating sets. · Ad hoc wireless networks provide a flexible and quick means of establishing wireless peer-to-peer communications. Routing remains the main challenging problem in an ad hoc network due to its multihop nature and dynamic network topology. Several protocols based on virtual backbones in ad hoc wireless networks have been proposed that may be used to simplify the routing process. However, little is known about the network routing performance of these protocols and no attempt has previously been made to directly compare them. This thesis is the first research effort to implement, analyze and compare the routing performance of dominating-set-based routing protocols. In this study, we examine four existing routing approaches using a virtual backbone, or "spine", imposed on the ad­hoc network. We then propose an evolutionary approach to constructing a stable minimum connected dominating set in an ad hoc wireless network: this employs the use of a genetic algorithm. Since the mobile· nodes that constitute an ad hoc wireless network are constantly in motion, the network configuration is subject to constant change in a manner that resembles the biological process of mutation. This evolution of networks over time lends itself naturally to a model based on genetic algorithms. As part of an in-depth study of the application of genetic algorithms in the field of wireless networks, a scatternet formation protocol for Bluetooth networks was designed, developed and evaluated. This helped to build the knowledge base required to implement new routing protocols using the network simulator ns-2. Simulation studies were then conducted using ns-2 to compare the performance of previously proposed dominating­set-based routing approaches. In this thesis, we analyze the performance of our evolutionary routing approach and compare it with the previous approaches. We present our simulation results and show that our evolutionary routing approach outperforms the other routing algorithms with respect to end-to-end packet delay, throughput, packet delivery ratio and routing overhead· across several different scenarios. Thus, we demonstrate the advantages of utilizing a genetic algorithm to construct a backbone that is · used to effectively route packets in an ad-hoc wireless network.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Computer Science and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2003 Hiranmayi Sreenivas

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