Electric-Field-Based Routing

Nam Nguyen
UCLA, The Laboratory for Advanced Systems Research

Stephan Baylis and An-I Andy Wang
Florida State University

Peter Reiher
UCLA, The Laboratory for Advanced Systems Research

Geoffrey H. Kuenning
Harvey Mudd College

Electric-Field-Based Routing (EFR) is designed to defend pair-wise communication channels in MANETs. In particular, EFR is resilient to black-hole routers, man-in-the-middle attacks, and Byzantine and geographically localized failures.

EFR is inspired by nature's way of forming electric field lines. By locally applying electric-field equations at each node, we can globally define a family of spatially disjoint routes (similar to the shapes of field lines) for all communicating pairs. This insight allows a source-destination pair (assigned with opposite polarities) to reconfigure routes and route memberships constantly and rapidly without further route coordination, thus making mobility and failures the common case.

An EFR node uses its position relative to the source and destination to compute the forwarding hop, based on the electric-field equation. Since a node determines its route membership at packet arrival times and maintains no routing states, route constructions require no coordination among routes. Globally, given an adequate node density, packets sent in distinct directions will reach the destination through spatially disjoint paths. The figure shows a simulation of EFR finding five paths.

EFR provides the following benefits. (1) Spatially disjoint and redundant paths protect against geographically localized failures, Byzantine failures, and associated service degradation. (2) EFR can apply threshold-based cryptography to communicate in the presence of broken routes and intercepted packets. (3) EFR can detect data integrity breaches with redundant information transmitted along node-disjoint paths. (4) EFR is resilient to black-hole routers because the forwarding node selection is based on the context of a node relative to field lines.


Nam T. Nguyen, An-I Andy Wang, Peter Reiher, Geoffrey Kuenning, Electric-Field-Based Routing: A Reliable Framwork for Routing in MANETs, to appear in ACM SIGMOBILE Mobile Computing and Communications Review, 2004. <http://www.cs.fsu.edu/~awang/papers/mc2r2004a.html>

An-I Andy Wang, Geoffrey H. Kuenning, Peter Reiher. Book Chapter: Multipath Routing for Ad Hoc Networks. Mobile and Wireless Internet: Protocols, Algorithms, and Systems, Kluwer Academic Publishers, July 2003.


An-I Andy Wang. Electric-Field-Based Routing: Secure Spatially Disjoint Routes in MANETs.  Presented at the DARPA Proposer's Day for Defense Against Cyber Attacks on Mobile Ad Hoc Networks, Virginia, February 2004. (abstract, slides, poster)

Last modified:  March 5, 2004