The interest in mobile ad-hoc networks (MANETs) and often more precisely vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANETs) is steadily growing with many new applications, and even anticipated support in the emerging 5G networks. Particularly in outdoor scenarios, there are different mechanisms to make the mobile nodes aware of their geographical location at all times. The location information can be utilized at different layers of the protocol stack to enhance communication services in the network. Specifically, geographical routing can facilitate route management with smaller overhead than the traditional proactive and reactive routing protocols. In order to achieve similar advantages for radio resource management (RRM) and multiple access protocols, the concept of virtual cells is devised to exploit fully distributed knowledge of node locations. The virtual cells define clusters of MANET nodes assuming a predefined set of geographically distributed anchor points. It enables fast response of the network to changes in the nodes spatial configuration. More importantly, the notion of geographical location can be generalized to other shared contexts which can be learned or otherwise acquired by the network nodes. The strategy of enhancing communication services by shared contexts is likely to be one of the key features in the beyond-5G networks.
Part of the book: Mobile Computing