Reliable and timely delivery of data to mobile targets is a challenging problem in mobile ad-hoc networks, because of the opportunistic and unpredictable nature of the problem. Finding a complete series of mobile-to-mobile contacts and forwarding data toward targets within a designated deadline is even more difficult. We leverage unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as message ferries to travel over highly probable rendezvous points for over-the-air delivery to target users. We propose Rendezvous, an opportunistic yet disciplined data delivery scheme based on trajectory prediction of users and UAV path planning. During the offline learning phase, we identify both temporal and spatial regularities of mobile users from real-world trajectories using sequence-wise clustering, and construct a compact yet well-summarized cluster signature that enables efficient search. In the data delivery phase, given recent movement history of users, UAVs perform their own distributed path planning collaboratively over time. Each UAV finds a chronological sequence of future visiting points where it can make consecutive data delivery efforts to users to overcome the uncertainty in mobility and ensure timely delivery. Real-world trace-driven simulation experiments demonstrate that Rendezvous achieves reliable and punctual data delivery using only few UAVs compared with existing algorithms.
- Opportunistic data delivery
- mobile Ad-Hoc Network (MANET)
- path planning
- trajectory prediction
- unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)