MERIT: A Scalable Approach for Protocol Assessment

András Faragó, Violet R. Syrotiuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


MERIT is a framework that can be used to assess routing protocols in mobile ad hoc networks (manets). It uses the novel concept of a shortest mobile path (SMP) in a mobile graph, a generalization of the shortest path problem for mobile environments. As a measure for routing protocol assessment, we propose the mean ratio of the cost of the route used by a protocol to the cost of the optimal mobile path for the same network history. The cost reflects that the route used in a session can change over time because of network dynamics such as topology changes. The aim is for the ratio to be an abstract, inherent measure of the protocol that is as implementation-independent as possible. The MERIT spectrum, which is the ratio expressed as the function of some parameters of interest, is a characterization of protocol effectiveness. MERIT, for MEan Real vs. Ideal cosT, provides a scalable assessment framework: rather than comparing performance measures of different protocols directly, we compare a protocol to the optimal solution. That is, rather than forcing the comparison to be in the same system, it is done once for each protocol in its own environment. Furthermore, we show that there is an efficient algorithm to solve the underlying SMP problem for important cases, making the approach practically feasible. We also investigate generalizations of and extensions within the MERIT framework. We show that the MERIT framework is rich, with much wider generality and potential applicability than assessing routing protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-577
Number of pages11
JournalMobile Networks and Applications
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Mobile ad hoc networks
  • Protocol assessment framework
  • Routing protocols
  • Scalability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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