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Experimental Evaluation of Group Communications Protocols for Tactical Data Dissemination

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Author: Suri, N. · Fronteddu, R. · Cramer, E.R · Breedy, M. · Marcus, K. · Velt, R.I.T. · Nilsson, J. · Mantovani, M. · Campioni, L. · Poltronieri, F. · Benincasa, G. · Ordway, B. · Peuhkuri, M. · Rautenberg, M.
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Source:Proceedings - IEEE Military Communications Conference MILCOM, 2018 IEEE Military Communications Conference, MILCOM 2018, 29 October 2018 through 31 October 2018, 133-139
Identifier: 862248
ISBN: 9781538671856
Article number: 8599749
Keywords: Multicast · Distributed computer systems · Military communications · Multicasting · Data dissemination · Emulation · Experimentation · Message bus · Tactical network · Internet protocols


Network-centric warfare depends on the timely dissemination of battlefield information for Situation Awareness (SA) and Command and Control (C2). A significant percentage of SA and C2 data is sent to multiple recipients at the same time, which naturally calls for group communication protocols for efficient dissemination. Several variations of group communication protocols have been developed, including multicast-based and message bus-based approaches. However, a natural question arises about the suitability and performance of these protocols when deployed on tactical edge networks. These networks are typically wireless and characterized as Disrupted, Intermittent, and, Limited (DIL), with frequent disconnections and dynamic topologies. Constraints on bandwidth and variable latencies also complicate the environment. To answer the above question, we evaluate a number of group communications protocols in a realistic emulated tactical networking environment using the Anglova scenario. This paper presents results obtained from running different protocols in an experiment involving the dissemination of blue-force data for SA, with the objective of identifying advantages and disadvantages of different available solutions. © 2018 IEEE.