Critical and public safety operations require real-time communication from the incident area(s) to the distant operations command center going through the evacuation and medical support areas. Data transmitted throughout such type of network is extremely useful for decisions makers and operations' conducting. Therefore, any delay in communication may cause lives' loss. Above all, the existing infrastructure communication systems (PSTN, WiFi, 4/5 G, etc.) can be damaged and is often not available solution. An alternate option is to deploy autonomous tactical network at unpredictable location and time. However, in this context there are many challenge especially how to effectively rout or disseminate the information. In this paper, we present behavior of varied multi-hops routing protocols evaluated in a disaster-simulated scenario with different communication technologies (i.e. WiFi IEEE 802.11; WSN IEEE 802.15.4; WBAN IEEE 802.15.6). Studied routing strategies are classified: Ad hoc proactive and reactive protocols, geographic-based and gradient-based protocols. To be realistic, we have conducted our simulations by considering a Mall in Doha city in the State of Qatar. Moreover, we have generated a mobility trace to model the rescue teams and crowd movements during the disaster. In conclusion, extensive simulations showed that WiFi IEEE 802.11 is the best wireless technology to consider in an emergency urban with the studied protocols. On the other hand, gradient based routing protocol performed much better especially with WBAN IEEE 802.15.6.

Keyword: Tactical Ad-hoc Networks; Public Safety and Emergency; Routing Protocols; IEEE 802.11; IEEE 802.15.4; IEEE 802.15.6; Performance Evaluation

I. Introduction

Public safety is a worldwide governments' concern. It is a special continuous reactive set of studies, operations and actions in order to predict plan and perform a successful reaction in a disaster case. Coupled with the raise of number and variety of disasters, not only the economies and infrastructures are affected, but significant number of human lives. With regards to the emergency response to these disasters, the role of existing Public Safety Network (PSN) infrastructures (e.g. TETRA, LTE) is extremely vital. However, it is anticipated that, during and after the disasters, existing PSN infrastructures can be flawed, oversaturated or completely damaged. Therefore, there is a growing demand for ubiquitous emergency response system that could be easily and rapidly deployed at unpredictable location and time. Wherefore Wearable Body Area Networks (W-BAN) is a relevant candidate that can play a key role to monitor the physiological status of involved workforces and the affected individuals. Composed by small and low-power devices connected to a coordinator, WBAN communication architecture relies on three levels: On-Body (or intra-Body), Body-to-Body (or inter-Body) and off-Body communication networks.

In disaster scenarios, the network connectivity and data is a challenging problem due to the dynamic mobility and harsh environment [1]. It is envisioned that, in case of unavailable or out-of-range network infrastructures, the WBANs coordinators along with WBANs sensors can exploit cooperative and multi-hop body-to-body communications to extend the end-to-end network connectivity. The Opportunistic and Mobility Aware Routing (OMAR) scheme is an on-body routing protocol proposed in one of our earlier works [2].

A realistic mobility model is also a major challenge related to the simulations. To the best knowledge of the authors, no comparable study in disaster context is conducted by considering a realistic disaster mobility pattern.

In this paper, we investigate varied classes of multi-hop Body-to-Body routing protocols using a realistic mobility modeling software provided by Bonn University in Germany [3]. The mobility pattern is exploited by the WSNET simulator as a mobility trace of the nodes moving during and after the disaster. Note here that individuals are considered mobile nodes in the scenario. In the conducted simulations, each iteration, one communication technology configuration is selected (i.e. WiFi IEEE 802.11; WSN IEEE 802.15.4; WBAN IEEE 802.15.6), then simulations are ran with the routing protocols (i.e. proactive, reactive, gradient-based and geographical-based). This strategy provides a vision not only on the behavior of the routing protocols in the disaster context, but evaluates the communication technologies in such case also. For proactive, reactive, gradient-based and geographical-based routing protocols, Optimized Link State Routing protocol version 2 (OLSRv2) [4], Ad-hoc On-Demand Distance Vector (AODVv2) [5], Directed Diffusion (DD) [6] and Greedy Perimeter Stateless Routing (GPSR) [7] protocols are selected respectively

The remainder of this abstract is organized as follows. In section II, we present briefly the disaster scenario considered. In section III, we explain the results of the simulations. Finally, in Section IV, we conclude and discuss perspectives.

II. Landmark disaster scenario

we are investigating a disaster scenario (fire triggering) in the “Landmark” shopping mall. The mobility model used is generated by the BonnMotion tool. We assume that the incident is caused by fire into two different locations. Rescuers are immediately called to intervene. We consider that firefighters are divided into 3 groups of vehicles with 26 firefighters in each group. Medical emergency teams that probably could reach the mall just after the incident, are consisting of 6 ambulances with 5 medical staff in each ambulance (30 rescuers in total).

Civilians could also help rescuers and they are also considered in the mobility trace generation. Injured individuals are transported from the incident areas to the patients waiting for treatment areas to get first aids. Then, they will be transported to the patients clearing areas where they will be either put under observation or evacuated to hospitals by ambulance or helicopter. A tactical command center conducting the operations is represented by WSNET is an event-driven simulator for wireless networks. WSNET is able to design, configure and simulate a whole communication stack from the Physical to the Application Layer. We benefit from these features to vary the payload with the selected MAC and routing layer in each iteration. These combinations provided a deep review on the possible communication architecture to consider in disaster operations. The following section describes the outcome of these extensive simulations.

III. Performance evaluation

The main difference between the disaster and any other scenario is the emergency aspect. All flowing data in the network is considered highly important. The probability of packets that did not reach the destination must be zero. For this reason, our evaluation is regarded to the Packet Reception rate (PRR). Likewise, a delayed packet is such like an unreceived packet. That's why we consider the delay as decisive factor. Similarly, the energy consumption is also observed.

The following table summarizes the obtained results.

In terms of average PRR, WiFi IEEE 802.11 is convincingly better than the two counterparts combined with all the routing protocols. GPSR has a considerable PRR with WBAN IEEE 802.15.6, but the location information of the nodes is considered as known. Regarding the delay, DD is particularly efficient with WiFi and WBAN.

To conclude, DD is an efficient routing protocol to consider in case of Indoor operations, while GPSR is most relevant in Outdoor operations where locations can be obtained from GPS.

IV. Conclusion

Disasters are growing remarkably worldwide. The existing communication infrastructures are not considered a part of the communication recuing system. Consequently, to monitor deployed individuals (rescue teams, injured individuals, etc.) data should be forwarded throughout these individuals (WBANs) to reach a distant command center. In order to evaluate the performance of diverse multi-hop routing protocols, we have conducted extensive simulations on WNSET using a realistic mobility model. The simulations showed that all evaluated routing protocols (i.e.AODVv2, OLSRv2, DD and GPSR) has the best PRR with the WiFi technology. While, DD was found to be the most efficient with the WBAN technology. GPSR also could be considered when the location information is available.


The work was supported by NPRP grant #[6-1508-2-616] from the Qatar National Research Fund which is a member of Qatar Foundation. The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors.


[1] M. M. Alam, D. B. Arbia, and E. B. Hamida, “Device-to-Device Communication in Wearable Wireless Networks,” 10th CROWNCOM Conf., Apr-2015.

[2] E. B. Hamida, M. M. Alam, M. Maman, and B. Denis, “Short-Term Link Quality Estimation for Opportunistic and Mobility Aware Routing in Wearable Body Sensors Networks,” WIMOB 2014 2014 IEEE 10th Int. Conf. Wirel. Mob. Comput. Netw. Commun. WiMob, pp. 519–526, Oct-2014.

[3] N. Aschenbruck, “BonnMotion: A Mobility Scenario Generation and Analysis Tool.” University of Osnabruuck, Jul-2013.

[4] T. Clausen, C. Dearlove, P. Jacquet, and U. Herberg, “RFC7181: The Optimized Link State Routing Protocol Version 2” Apr-2014.

[5] C. Perkins, S. Ratliff, and J. Dowdell, “Dynamic MANET On-demand (AODVv2) Routing draft-ietf-manet-dymo-26.” Feb-2013.

[6] C. Intanagonwiwat, R. Govindan, and D. Estrin, “Directed diffusion: a scalable and robust communication paradigm for sensor networks,” pp. 56–67, 2000.

[7] B. Karp and H. T. Kung, “GPSR: Greedy Perimeter Stateless Routing for Wireless Networks,” Annu. ACMIEEE Int. Conf. Mob. Comput. Netw. MobiCom 2000, no. 6, 2000.


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