Information propagation speed in mobile and delay tolerant networks

Philippe Jacquet*, Bernard Mans, Georgios Rodolakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


The goal of this paper is to increase our understanding of the fundamental performance limits of mobile and Delay Tolerant Networks (DTNs), where end-to-end multihop paths may not exist and communication routes may only be available through time and mobility. We use analytical tools to derive generic theoretical upper bounds for the information propagation speed in large scale mobile and intermittently connected networks. In other words, we upper-bound the optimal performance, in terms of delay, that can be achieved using any routing algorithm. We then show how our analysis can be applied to specific mobility models to obtain specific analytical estimates. In particular, in 2-D networks, when nodes move at a maximum speed v and their density ν is small (the network is sparse and asymptotically almost surely disconnected), we prove that the information propagation speed is upper bounded by (1+O(ν2))v in random waypoint-like models, while it is upper bounded by O(√νvv) for other mobility models (random walk, Brownian motion). We also present simulations that confirm the validity of the bounds in these scenarios. Finally, we generalize our results to 1-D and 3-D networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5571893
Pages (from-to)5001-5015
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2010 IEEE. Reprinted from IEEE transactions on information theory, Volume 56, Issue 10, 5001-5015. This material is posted here with permission of the IEEE. Such permission of the IEEE does not in any way imply IEEE endorsement of any of Macquarie University’s products or services. Internal or personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution must be obtained from the IEEE by writing to By choosing to view this document, you agree to all provisions of the copyright laws protecting it.


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