Bridging the Social and Wireless Networking Divide: Information Dissemination in Integrated Cellular and Opportunistic Networks

Jie Hu, Lie Liang Yang, H. Vincent Poor, Lajos Hanzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


An increasing number of mobile users (MUs) share common interests in general information, such as traffic information, weather forecast, and domestic/international news. However, the centralized infrastructure-based system has not been designed for efficiently disseminating the information of common interest (IoCI) to numerous requesters. Thanks to the rapid development of mobile devices equipped with large storage and multiple communication modes, opportunistic communication between a pair of MUs can be readily realized. With the aid of opportunistic networks formed by MUs, we can improve the connectivity of cellular networks in the rural areas, we can offload the tele-traffic from the overloaded cellular networks, and we can efficiently disseminate the IoCI in the densely populated areas. We commence with a detailed survey on the cross-disciplinary research area of social network analysis aided telecommunication networking. We continue by focusing our attention on the family of integrated cellular and large-scale opportunistic networks, whose performance is dominated by the inter-contact duration as well as the contact duration between any pairs of MUs. A continuous-time-pure-birth Markov chain is invoked for analyzing the relevant performance. We demonstrate that the delivery ratio of the IoCI before it expires becomes higher than 90% with the aid of opportunistic networks consisting of 20 MUs. Moreover, our experiments based on the InfoCom 2006 mobility trace show that the opportunistic networks are capable of offloading 58% of the tele-traffic from the cellular networks. Thereafter, we propose a hybrid information dissemination scheme for the integrated cellular and small-scale opportunistic networks, which is comprised of two main stages: 1) the base station-aided single-hop multicast (BSSHM) stage and 2) the cooperative multicast aided spontaneous dissemination stage. In contrast to their large-scale counterparts, in small-scale opportunistic networks, the information dissemination is mainly affected by the mobility of the MUs, by the wireless channel attenuation and by the resource scheduling, where a discrete-time-pure-birth Markov chain is utilized for characterizing the relevant performance. We demonstrate that our hybrid information dissemination scheme outperforms the traditional BSSHM in terms of various delay metrics, despite consuming less energy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7268759
Pages (from-to)1809-1848
Number of pages40
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


  • Cellular networks
  • information dissemination
  • large-scale/small-scale opportunistic networks
  • pure-birth Markov chain
  • social network analysis


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