Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Richard M. Voyles, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jun Jason Zhang

Third Advisor

Mohammad H. Mahoor


Gradient, Hidden Markov Model (HMM), Meta-routing, Motion control, Volatility, Wireless


The maintenance of network connectivity is essential for effective and efficient mobile team operations. Achieving robust mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) connectivity requires a capable link maintenance mechanism especially if the network experiences expected intermittent connectivity due to a hostile environment. One applicable example of such network scenarios is multi-robot exploration for urban search and rescue (USAR). With the proliferation of these robotic networks, communication problems such as the link maintenance problem are subject to be raised quickly. Although various routing protocols for wireless ad hoc networks have been proposed, they solve the problems of message routing and link maintenance separately, resulting in additional overhead costs and long latency in network communication. Traditional routing protocols discover existing links, connect these links, find the best path and minimize the path cost. The limitation of previous routing protocols motivates us to develop a new concept of routing mechanism for a robotic network. This routing mechanism is named Meta-Routing. Meta-Routing expands current routing protocols to include not only the normal routing of packets, but also the maintenance of links in mobile agent scenarios. Thus, Meta-Routing minimizes the communication path cost and the overhead cost, the latter of which results from discovering a route, repairing a link or establishing a new communication path between nodes.

This dissertation presents a method to achieve Meta-Routing by controlling robot motion based on the radio frequency (RF) environment recognition method and gradient descent method. Mobile robot controlled motion can effectively improve network performance by driving robots to favorable locations with strong links. Moreover, the gradient descent method is used in driving the robots into the direction of favorable positions for maximizing broken or failing links and maintaining network connectivity.

The main accomplished goals of this thesis are summarized as follows: firstly, the Meta-Routing protocol, which integrates link maintenance into the normal message routing protocol cost function; secondly, the dissertation examines the unification of the syntax of message routing protocol and the link maintenance process through physical configuration of mobile network nodes by controlling their movement in the field; finally, the dissertation demonstrates that the utilization of the RF environment recognition and classification method improves route repair estimation for achieving link maintenance in the presented Meta-Routing protocol. The numerical experimental results demonstrate promising RF environment recognition and node controlled motion results, as well as confirm their abilities in robot movement control for link maintenance and reduction of the total path cost.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Mustafa A. Ayad


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

158 p.


Electrical engineering