Fair and throughput-optimal routing in multimodal underwater networks

Roee Diamant, Paolo Casari, Filippo Campagnaro, Oleksiy Kebkal, Veronika Kebkal, Michele Zorzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While acoustic communications are still considered the most prominent technology to communicate under water, other technologies are being developed based, e.g., on optical and radio-frequency electromagnetic waves. Each technology has its own advantages and drawbacks: For example, acoustic signals achieve long communication ranges at order-of-kbit/s rates, whereas optical signals offer order-of-Mbit/s transmission rates, but only over short ranges. Such diversity can be leveraged by multimodal systems, which integrate different technologies and provide the intelligence required to decide which one should be used at any given time. In this paper, we address a fundamental part of this intelligence by proposing optimal multimodal routing (OMR), a novel routing protocol for underwater networks of multimodal nodes. OMR makes distributed decisions about the flow in each link and over each technology, at any given time, in order to advance a packet toward its destination; in doing so, it prevents bottlenecks and allocates resources fairly to different nodes. We analyze the performance of OMR via simulations and in a field experiment. The results show that OMR successfully leverages all technologies to deliver data, even in the presence of imperfect topology information. To permit the reproduction of our results, we share our simulation code.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1738-1754
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2002-2012 IEEE.


  • Lake trial
  • Multimodal systems
  • Optical communications
  • Optimal routing
  • Simulations
  • Underwater acoustic communications
  • Underwater networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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