Supporting Delay Tolerant Networking: A Comparative Study of Epidemic Routing and NDN
by Tianxiang Li, Zhaoning Kong, and Lixia Zhang
Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN) is characterized by its dynamic and intermittent connectivity, resulting in the absence of end-to-end communication paths in general. Many proposed solutions have been developed over the years to enhance TCP/IP protocol stack for DTN environment; Epidemic Routing (ER) is among the earliest and most well-known designs. Recent years have seen both renewed interests and investigations into Epidemic Routing for vehicular and satellite communications, and the development of a new Internet architecture Named Data Networking (NDN) which, due to its data-centric design, can support DTN communications natively. In this paper, we identify the basic functionality requirements for DTN support, compare and contrast ER and NDN to show the commonalities and differences in their designs. We use simulation results to illustrate how the design differences lead to different functionalities and protocol performance: although ER enhances IP nodes with data-centric features to enable packet delivery in DTN environments, compared to NDN’s native data-centric design with built-in security, such “patch-on” suffers from not only lower performance with higher overhead, but more importantly the lack of systematic security support.