Routing today scales by assigning addresses that depend on the host's topological location in the network. Topology-based addressing improves scalability, since adjacent addresses may be aggregated into blocks and advertised as a single unit. However, if hosts move, or the network topology changes, these addresses must change. This poses two problems. First, in ad-hoc networks and sensornets, the topology is so fluid that topology-based addressing doesn't work. There has been a decades-long search for scalable routing algorithms for these networks with no solution in sight. Second, the use of topology-based addressing in the Internet complicates mobility, access control, and multihoming.
Identity-based addressing, where addresses refer only to the identity of the host but not its location, would solve these problems, but would pose severe challenges for scalability. This thesis presents the first scalable routing algorithm for identity-based addresses. Implementation results from a sensornet deployment and simulations demonstrate the protocol outperforms several traditional wireless routing algorithms. This thesis also describes extensions to scale the protocol to Internet-size topologies and support several common ISP-level routing policies.
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