Using Redundancy to Cope with Failures in a Delay Tolerant Network
We consider the problem of routing in a delay tolerant network (DTN) in the presence of path failures. Previous work on DTN routing has focused on using precisely known network dynamics, which does not account for message losses due to link failures, buffer overruns, path selection errors, unscheduled delays, or other problems. We show how to split, replicate, and erasure code message fragments over multiple delivery paths to optimize the probability of successful message delivery. We provide a formulation of this problem and solve it for two cases: a 0/1 (Bernoulli) path delivery model where messages are either fully lost or delivered, and a Gaussian path delivery model where only a fraction of a message may be delivered. Ideas from the modern portfolio theory literature are borrowed to solve the underlying optimization problem. Our approach is directly relevant to solving similar problems that arise in replica placement in distributed file systems and virtual node placement in DHTs. In three different simulated DTN scenarios covering a wide range of applications, we show the effectiveness of our approach in handling failures.