Tweeting ‘When Online is Off’? Opportunistically Creating Mobile Ad-hoc Networks in Response to Disrupted Infrastructure

Amro Al-Akkad, Fraunhofer FIT

Christian Raffelsberger, Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt

Alexander Boden, Fraunhofer FIT

Leonardo Ramirez, Fraunhofer Headquarters

Andreas Zimmermann, Fraunhofer FIT




In this paper, we present a system that enables people to post and receive tweets despite disruptions of existing network infrastructure. Our system opportunistically deploys mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) based on Wi-Fi in which people can communicate with each other in a peer-to-peer fashion. A MANET per se constitutes an isolated island, but as people carry devices around that can join other MANETs, eventually people can transport previously collected data to the online world. Compared to other systems that aim to enable communication in crisis, our system differs in two ways: it does not rely on existing network infrastructure, and it exploits established protocols and standards allowing it to run on off-the-shelf, commercially available smartphones. We evaluated our prototype with a group of students and practitioners. Overall, we received positive feedback on the potential of our technology, but also were pointed to limitations requiring future work.


Full paper




Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response
and Management (ISCRAM 2014)
, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA, 18-21 May 2014, pp. 662-671.





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