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Network recovery after a disaster: a step forward towards the solution

Have you ever thought about network systems in case of catastrophes?

Probably all of us from time to time think about natural disasters such as the catastrophes in the well known Ring of Fire area of the Asia-Pacific Region. This is exactly what our researchers had in mind when developing their research idea.

After so many world catastrophes such as tsunami, earthquake etc., it is no accident that a group of researchers from  the Japanese National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) decided to analyze the management of natural catastrophes: “Experience with previous disasters, such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, has shown that communication networks greatly influence the response to the disaster and the recovery operations, including regarding the nuclear power station accident that was caused by this catastrophe.”

Razvan Beuran, Shingo Yasuda, Tomoya Inoue, Shinsuke Miwa, Yoichi Shinoda presented their work at Simutools 2014, the 7th International ICST Conference on Simulation Tools and Techniques, which took place in Lisbon, Portugal on March 17-19, 2014, proposing a new method which helps to improve the field experiments thanks to the level of accuracy  and time-saving.

What is the main goal of the study? To investigate the potential of using inter-vehicle communication for post-disaster network recovery and develop solutions for restoring network connectivity after natural catastrophes.

As confirmed by the researchers, the main contributions for the development of a solution are:

  • The presentation of a possible solution for network recovery that uses a Delay/Disruption Tolerant Network (DTN) protocol running on top of a vehicular network, and that includes a messaging application for emergency communication;
  • The evaluation of the proposed solution through emulation on a testbed that includes both network and disaster emulation features in order to determine objectively the constraints involved, and what are the expected performance characteristics of such a solution.

The idea to use emulation techniques on a testbed is a great addition for authenticating these solutions. The emulation network includes disaster emulation testbed capabilities and helps to improve the field experiments thanks to the level of accuracy  and time-saving.

During the field experimentation, the researchers used DNT and inter-vehicle communication  to allow exchanges of important information in the interested area focusing on messages that could be sent among different sites thanks to the inter-vehicle communication.
Interested in full results? Read the paper here.

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