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Cluster-based Communications System for Immediate Post-disaster Scenario

Sonia Majid and Kazi Ahmed
Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand

Abstract—Communication facilities can totally be destroyed by natural and / or manmade disasters. A critical problem after disaster is getting the first hand knowledge of the destructions and also establishing some communication links among the survivors. This paper focuses on the vital need for providing communications facility to the victims, immediately after the disaster and prior to the arrival of rescue teams. The proposed novel approach in emergency communications enables survivors to communicate among themselves and help each other. Here, the idea of a self-organizing network is put forward, which makes use of available network resources formally occupied by the destroyed and / or damaged telecommunications’ infrastructure. In our post-disaster scenario, mobile nodes establish a self-organizing / ad hoc network which provides critical level of communications among disaster victims needed at that time and consequently tries to merge with some surviving telecommunications infrastructure and / or network deployed by rescue teams. The outcome of this paper is a fundamentally novel idea for immediate post-disaster communications. This idea is tested through some network survivability measures and hypothesis testing. We also test the working of this ad hoc network through simulation for post-disaster scenarios of partially and fully destroyed networks. The results obtained are found to be satisfactory and within acceptable limits of ad hoc networks.

Index Terms—post-disaster communications, emergency communications, self-organizing network, disaster scenarios

Cite:Sonia Majid and Kazi Ahmed, "Cluster-based Communications System for Immediate Post-disaster Scenario," Journal of Communications, vol. 4, no.5, pp.307-319, 2009.