Socially-aware routing for publish-subscribe in delay-tolerant mobile ad hoc networks

Paolo Costa, Cecilia Mascolo, Mirco Musolesi, Gian Pietro Picco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

395 Citations (Scopus)


Applications involving the dissemination of information directly relevant to humans (e.g., service advertising, news spreading, environmental alerts) often rely on publish-subscribe, in which the network delivers a published message only to the nodes whose subscribed interests match it. In principle, publish-subscribe is particularly useful in mobile environments, since it minimizes the coupling among communication parties.

However, to the best of our knowledge, none of the (few) works that tackled publish-subscribe in mobile environments has yet addressed intermittently-connected human networks. Socially-related people tend to be co-located quite regularly. This characteristic can be exploited to drive forwarding decisions in the interest-based routing layer supporting the publish-subscribe network, yielding not only improved. performance but also the ability to overcome high rates of mobility and long-lasting disconnections.

In this paper we propose SocialCast, a routing framework for publish-subscribe that exploits predictions based on metrics of social interaction (e.g., patterns of movements among communities) to identify the best information carriers.

We highlight the principles underlying our protocol, illustrate its operation, and evaluate its performance using a mobility model based on a social network validated with real human mobility traces. The evaluation shows that prediction of colocation and node mobility allow for maintaining a very high and steady event delivery with low overhead and latency, despite the variation in density, number of replicas per message or speed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)748-760
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • delay tolerant networking
  • publish-subscribe systems
  • social networks


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