Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Gary B. Lamont, PhD


Today's information age has exploded the amount of data available to decision makers at all levels of the control hierarchy. The miniaturization and proliferation of sensor technology has enabled extensive detection and monitoring and advances in computational capabilities have provided for embedded data analysis and the generation of information from raw data. Additionally, with the miniaturization of mechanical systems it is possible to provide platforms for sensor suites that are capable of mobility and limited autonomy. Swarming or bio-emergent behavior problems, provides a robust scalable mechanism for organizing large numbers of mobile sensor platforms. However, the mobility dynamics of swarm systems present additional challenges. This research develops a novel ad hoc data network communications modeling methodology for swarm-based sensor systems that provides a process for evaluating performance of communications protocols with respect to swarm dynamics parameter-based swarm simulation system based on innovative vision models is developed and used to investigate and characterize swarm behavior. The process allows for communications protocol evaluations in the context of dynamic swarm behaviors. Three network communications protocols are presented for swarm-based sensor networks and a performance comparison is made. The three protocols-Directed Diffusion, Geographical Routing Protocol, and Flooding Protocol are compared. Results indicate, for the degree of mobility investigated, that the Directed Diffusion protocol slightly outperforms the Geographical Routing Protocol system. The swarm network modeling process developed provides a new methodology for rigorous and repeatable investigation of network communications systems with respect to the complex dynamics of swarm-based sensor networks.

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