Fair and Throughput-Optimal Routing in Multimodal Underwater Networks
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While acoustic communications are still considered the most prominent technology to communicate under water, other technologies are being developed based, e.g., on optical and radio-frequency electromagnetic waves. Each technology has its own advantages and drawbacks: for example, acoustic signals achieve long communication ranges at order-of-kbit/s bit rate, whereas optical signals offer order-of-Mbit/s transmission rates, but only over short ranges. Such a diversity can be leveraged by multimodal systems, which integrate different technologies and provide the intelligence required to decide which one should be used at any given time. In this paper, we address a fundamental part of this intelligence by proposing Optimal Multimodal Routing (OMR), a novel routing protocol for underwater networks of multimodal nodes. OMR makes distributed decisions about the flow in each link and over each technology at any given time, in order to advance a packet towards its destination; in doing so, it prevents bottlenecks and allocates resources fairly to different nodes. We analyze the performance of OMR via simulations and in a field experiment. The results show that OMR successfully leverages all technologies to deliver data, even in the presence of imperfect topology information. To permit the reproduction of our results, we share our simulation code.