Privacy-Aware Location-Aided Routing in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks


Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANETs) enable users in physical proximity to each other to exchange data without the need for expensive communication infrastructures. Each user represents a node in the network, and executes a neighbor discovery Typically, nodes broadcast beacon messages that are received by other participants within the sender’s communication range. Routing strategies are computed on-line based on the locations of nearby nodes, and geocasting is employed to deliver data packets to their destinations. However, mobile users may be reluctant to share their exact locations with other participants, since location can disclose private details about a person’s lifestyle, religious or political affiliations, etc. A common approach to protect location privacy is to replace exact coordinates with coarser-grained regions, based on the privacy profile of each user. In this paper, we investigate protocols that support MANET routing without disclosing exact positions of nodes. Each node defines its own privacy profile, and reports a cloaked location information to its neighbors. We adopt a novel strategy to advertise beacons, to prevent inference of node locations. We also propose packet forwarding heuristics that rely on cloaking regions, rather than point locations. Our extensive experimental evaluation shows that the proposed routing scheme achieves low delays and high packet delivery ratios, without incurring significant overhead compared to conventional MANET routing protocols.


location privacy, MANET

Date of this Version



2010 Eleventh International Conference on Mobile Data Management, Kanas City, Missouri, USA May 23-May 26