A Survey on IP Address Configuration Technique for MANETs

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A Survey on IP Address Configuration Technique for MANETs

Disha. S. Raj

PG student, Department of E&C

Reva Institution of Technology and Management Bangalore, India

Nirmalkumar S Benni Assistant Professor,Department of E&C

Reva Institution of Technology and Management Bangalore, India

Abstract A Mobile Ad hoc Network (MANET) is an infrastructure less self-organizing network, in which each node functions as an end host and a wireless relay. This form of wireless network is created by mobile nodes without any existing or fixed infrastructure and the nodes in the MANET need mutually exclusive identities before participating in any form of communication. In particular, each end host in the MANET needs to be uniquely addressed so that the packets can be relayed hop by hop and delivered ultimately to the destination. On the other hand, address configuration in wired networks, such as DHCP, requires the presence of a centralized DHCP server. It does not work well for MANETs due to the mobility of the nodes and the lack of a central authority. There have been several approaches proposed for dynamic addressing scheme. However, mostly all approaches depend on broadcasting for address solicitation and/or duplicate address detection.Address allocation schemes can be classified into state full schemes or stateless schemes. The state full schemes keep state information in a database that keeps track of which addresses have been assigned to which computers. Stateless schemes let the computers select an address by themselves and perform a procedure, called Duplicate Address Detection (DAD).In this paper we focuses on the various IP allocation schemes for MANETs .

KeywordsMANETS , IPAddresses, Protocols


    Mobile Ad hoc Network (MANET) is an instant infrastructure less wireless independent self-organizing network, in which each node functions as an end host and a wireless relay. This form of wireless network is created by mobile nodes without any existing or fixed infrastructure. Since the mobile hosts usually have limited transmission range, bandwidth and battery power, multiple hops are generally required in MANETs to exchange data between nodes. The nodes inside the MANETs needs to be identified mutually before communicating with other devices, in particular, each host in the MANET needs to be addressed uniquely so that the packets can be relayed hop by hop and delivered ultimately to the destination. There is wide classification of existing routing protocols [1] in MANETs that assumes a priori taking into account that mobile nodes are configured with valid IP address. Also due to multi-hop routing the MAC address at the link layer level cannot serve for this IP allocation purpose. When its to be seen at the other side, address configuration in wired networks, such as the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) [2], requires the presence of a centralized DHCP server. Because of the

    mobility of the nodes and the lack of a central authority DHCP doesnt works over here. Given these uniqueness, address allocation in MANETs has attracted a significant amount of research. The purpose of address allocation in MANETs is not only to manage the address space efficiently , but also to cope up with scalability, robustness and security. A configured node should be able to allocate a unique network address in a timely manner, without costing excessive network traffic overhead. When a node leaves the network, its address should be reclaimed for future usage. All these needs should be well adapted to the distributed and dynamic nature of MANETs.

    IP address is very important things to be considered for the communication for both wired and wireless network, without IP address no system can communicate with each other. IP address uniquely identify the system over the internet uniquely. Thus for assignment of IP address there is many protocol has discovered and research is also going on now also for improving the IP address assignment scheme for Mobile network or to find new IP address assignment protocol.Here we made small approach of surveying all the available IP address assignment protocols and some of details about each protocol.

    In this paper, we will present a comprehensive survey on the address allocation schemes of MANETs. The rest of the chapter is organized as follows. Section 2 presents the background and introduces traditional address allocation schemes for IP-based networks. Section 3 describes System model and the requirements of the system. Section 4 surveys the existing mechanisms of MANETs IP address allocation. Section 5 presents the summary of the schemes .


    In this section, we will go through the traditional address allocation schemes and explain why they cannot be directly applied in MANETs. The address allocation schemes can be in general classified into stateful schemes or stateless schemes. The stateful schemes keep state information in a database that keeps track of which addresses have been assigned to which computers; while the stateless schemes allows the computers to select an address by themselves and perform a procedure, called Duplicate Address Detection (DAD)[3].

    1. Traditional Stateful Schemes

      1. Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP):

        RARP protocol that belongs to TCP/IP group allows a computer to obtain its IP address from a RARP server in the bootstrap procedure [4]. Before obtaining an IP address, a computer has to use its MAC address to communicate with others. It first broadcasts a RARP request that specifies itself as a target. The RARP server on the same network keeps the database of IP addresses. Upon receiving a RARP request message, the RARP server looks up the IP address based on the requesters physical address and replies to the requester. RARP has the following limitations. First, the reply from the server contains only the 4-octet IP address; second, it cannot be used on networks that dynamically assign physical addresses.

      2. Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP):

        BOOTP was developed to overcome some of the drawbacks of RARP [5]. It uses UDP to carry messages and hence it can be implemented with an application program. Before obtaining an IP address, a computer can broadcast an IP datagram on the local network by using the limited broadcast IP address BOOTP server then broadcasts the reply message on the local network, which contains the requesters IP address, the routers IP address, etc. BOOTP is designed for a relatively static environment, and it provides only a static mapping from the physical address to the corresponding network parameters. It is not suitable for a dynamic environment.

      3. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP):

      DHCP was developed as a predecessor to BOOTP [2].This provides configuration parameters to internet hosts that consists of two components: first one is a protocol for delivering host-specific configuration parameters from a DHCP server to a host and second one is a mechanism for allocation of network addresses to hosts. DHCP is built on a client-server model, in which designated DHCP server hosts allocate network addresses and deliver configuration parameters to dynamically configured hosts. DHCP supports three mechanisms for IP address allocation. In "automatic allocation, a permanent IP address is assigned to a client. In "dynamic allocation", an IP address is assigned to a client for a limited period of time. In "manual allocation", a client's IP address is assigned by the network administrator, and DHCP is ued simply to convey the assigned address to the client. Dynamic allocation is the only one of the three mechanisms that allows automatic reuse of an address

    2. Traditional Stateless Schemes

      1. IPV6 Stateless Address Auto Configuration:

        IPv6 stateless address auto configuration is performed only on multicast capable links [7]. A node starts the auto-configuration mechanism by generating a link-local address for its interface. This link-local address is generated by appending the interfaces identifier to the well-known link-local prefix. Before assigning the link-local address to its interface, a node must attempt to verify that this link-local address is not used by another node on the same network. This is done by the Duplicate Address Detection (DAD)

        procedure. Specifically, it sends a Neighbor Solicitation message that contains the tentative address as the target address. Notice that this message uses the well-known unspecified address as source IP address, and the solicited- node multicast address as the destination IP address. If another node is also using that address, it will return a Neighbor Advertisement message using the all-nodes multicast address as the destination IP address. If a node finds that its tentative link-local address is not unique in the network, auto-configuration process stops and manual configuration of the interface is required. On the contrary, if a node determines that its tentative link-local address is unique in the network, it assigns the address to itself and starts to communicate with all other nodes using this address.

      2. Zero Configuration Networking (ZEROCONF):

        Address configuration without a dedicated server has been investigated by the Zero Configuration Networking (Zeroconf) working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The goal of the Zeroconf Working Group is to enable networking in the absence of configuration and administration. The Internet draft [8] describes a method for dynamic configuration of IPv4 link-local addresses used for local communications. When a node wishes to configure a link-local address, it selects an address pseudo-randomly, uniformly distributed in the range to Then it tests whether or not this address is already in use by broadcasting an ARP request for the desired address. If no conflicting ARP reply has been received after a predefined time limit, then it can successfully claim the desired link-local address. Otherwise, it needs to select a new pseudo-random address and repeat the process.

    3. Issues of traditional address allocation schemes

    The traditional stateful address allocation schemes for IP-based networks require a centralized server to assign addresses to new nodes. Since MANETs have a highly dynamic topology and the centralized server may not always be reachable they cannot be directly applied to MANETs. The traditional stateless schemes cannot directly apply to MANET either because they require all nodes to be reachable via single-hop broadcast messages, which is generally not the case of MANETs. The Zeroconf solution also performs the DAD based on ARP request/reply messages, which may not be possible for MANETs. IPv6 stateless auto-configuration assumes the 48-bitIEEE-assigned globally unique MAC addresses. This hardware-based addressing scheme has the following limitations: (1) The 48-bit MAC address is too long for an IPv4 address. (2) The 48-bitMAC addresses may not be unique [7].It is also possible to change the MAC address by reprogramming the EEPROM or by modifying the MAC address in the OS memory. (3) Some devices in MANETs do not use a 48-bit MAC address. (4) The identity of a node can be easily determined from the network address, which raises privacy concerns.


    1. A protocol for assigning IP addresses should meet the following requirements:

      1. A node should obtain an IP address from MANET dynamically.

      2. No conflict in IP address assignment, i.e., at any given instant of time there should not be two or more nodes with the same IP address.

      3. When an IP is assigned, it is not guaranteed that the node will always be inside that particular network. When the node departs the network, its IP address should become available for assignment to other nodes.

      4. If any of the nodes has a free IP address, this address should be assigned to the requesting node.

      5. The protocol should handle network partitioning and merging. When two different partitions merge, there is a possibility that two or more nodes have the same IP address. Such duplicate addresses should be detected and resolved.

      6. The protocol should make sure that only authorized nodes are configured and granted access to network resources.

    2. Objectives

      Objectives of an optimal ad hoc network address configuration protocol:

      1. Dynamic Address Configuration: Nodes should be able to dynamically obtain IP addresses without manual or static configuration

      2. Uniqueness: Nodes should obtain unique addresses for correct routing and communication

      3. Robustness: The addressing protocol should adapt to the dynamics of the network, including partitions and merges

      4. Scalability: The protocol should avoid significant performance degradation as the size of the network increases.

      5. Security: Without authentication, several types of security threats can be seen at the time of address allocation. Therefore, security is also a prime concern for the address allocation protocol of a MANET.

    3. Duplicate Address Detection (DAD)

    DAD is required when either a new node joins a MANET or independent networks merge. When a new node picks up a tentative IP address, DAD process determines whether this address is available or not. All the nodes having a valid IP address participate in DAD to protect their IP address being used accidentally by new node. The uniqueness check is based on sending a Duplicate Address Probe (DAP) and expecting an Address Conflict Notice (ACN) back in a certain timeout period. If, after n number of retries, no ACN is received, the node may assume that address is not in use. But in networks where message delays cannot be bounded, use of timeouts can lead to unreliability. So duplicate addresses may occur in MANET. In case of merge, many nodes may have duplicate addresses and thus overhead of the network would increase suddenly due to start of DAD process for every node. Address auto configuration method must treat it as a special case. [3] Introduces Strong DAD &

    Weak DAD. Strong DAD allows at least one node to detect duplicate immediately after it has been chosen by another node. Practically it is not possible. Weak DAD is based on enhancement of link state routing. Each node of network owns a unique identifier. A node sends control packet indicating its link state along with its identifier. Each node keeps state of the links it is connected to, corresponding addresses & identifiers. If a node N receives a control packet from a known address but with different identifier, then it has detected a duplicate. N begins to announce duplicate and keep sending packets to the node it previously knows. MANET Conf [9] proposes a reliable DAD process. It has two phases: initiation & validation. A new node (requester) takes help of a configured neighbor (initiator) to obtain address. Initiator broadcasts an address for the requester. All nodes have to answer this request. This ensures that requester would not use the address of a temporarily disconnected node. If a node does not answer after a number of tries, its address can be treated as unassigned.


    The proposed addressing schemes for ad hoc networks are categorized into three groups: Best Effort Allocation, Leader Based (centralized) Allocation and Decentralized Allocatio approaches [10].

    In Best effort allocation a node assigns its address without involving any other node in the network, example is Prophet Scheme [11] (generation of random numbers).The advantage in this mechanism is Low addressing latency and low communication overhead. The drawback is that even with a large address space, address conflicts may exist in the network which is resolved by passive DAD [12] or weak DAD [3]. Hence DAD mechanisms also come under Best effort Allocation mechanism. In Leader based approach nodes obtain valid IP addresses from an elected leader or server of the network and hence this eliminates the need of DAD. Some of the schemes are: DHCP[8] (Client-Server Architecture), DACP [13] (Address Authority-temporary address is used to verify the uniqueness), VASM[14](Initiator gets IP from Allocator and assigns to Requester),4.Lightweight secure address configuration scheme[15] (uses VASM address configuration scheme).In decentralized allocation the host acquires an IP address either itself or from a neighbor and then performs the DAD to ensure the uniqueness of the address. Some of the schemes are: MANETconf [16] (every node keeps track of the addresses already allocated in the network), AAA [17] (uses randomly selected addresses from the address range of 169.254/16, then applies DAD), Prime DHCP [18] (address can be allocated to the new host without broadcasting it over the whole of MANET-PNAA algorithm), AIPAC[19](Automatic IP address configuration – The Initiator negotiates for the Requesters valid IP address in the allocation phase, corrects the configuration, and then offers it to the requester) 5. Secure host auto-configuration scheme

    [20] (a node has to answer a question to prove its identity. It uses the buddy system technique to allocate the IP address) 6. Quadratic residue based address allocation [21] (the first node in the network configures itself with an IP address and also

    generates the number of distinct cycles and length of each long cycle (address block)). Secure auto-configuration scheme[22](uses self-authentication technique-using one-way hash function) 8. MMIP[24](every node in the network act as proxies and binds the MAC address with the IP address at the time of address allocation)9.ADIP[25](utilizes nodes in the network as proxies and can generate IP addresses from its own IP for a new authenticated host)10. IDDIP algorithm

    [23] (ID based Dynamic IP) 11. IDSDDIP Algorithm [26] (This scheme is similar to IDDIP but has been proposed for IPv6).

    1. Best Effort Allocation

      1. Prophet Scheme [11]:

        Here a function f(n) generates a series of random numbers for address allocation. The first node A in the MANET generates a random number and sets its IP address. It also uses a random state value as the seed for its f (n). Another node B can get an IP address from node A along with a state value as the seed for its f (n).

      2. Weak Dad:

        This mechanism prevents a packet from being routed to a wrong destination, even if duplicate addresses exist [3].The technique is that a unique key for each node is included in the routing control packets and in the routing table entries. Hence, suppose if two nodes happen to have selected the same IP address, they can still be identified by the use of their unique keys.

      3. Passive DAD:

        This is a modification of DAD again where in the nodes use periodic link state routing information to notify other nodes about their neighbors. This is a very hectic measure and hence usually very costly and will result in serious redundancy, contention, and collision, which leads to broadcast storm problem [28].

    2. Leader Based Allocation

      1. DHCP [8] (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol):

        DHCP is developed as a successor to BOOTP [29].Here a DHCP server that has been designated allocates network addresses and delivers all the configuration parameters to dynamically configured computers. The most positive aspect of DHCP is its dynamic address assignment, in which the DHCP server does not need to know the identity of the client in prior. Auto-configuration becomes possible if the DHCP has been provided with a set of available IP addresses. At present, DHCP is widely used in Ethernets and Wireless LAN.

      2. DACP [13] (Dynamic Address Configuration Protocol):

        In DACP, the leader is an elected Address Authority (AA) that maintains the state information of the all the nodes in MANET. Then using DAD mechanism a temporary address is used to verify the uniqueness of the allocated address .The main drawback of this protocol is due to DAD that causes overhead and also due to address authority that causes high periodic flooding.

      3. ODACP [10] (Optimized DACP):

        To overcome the overhead caused by DACP, this is introduced without DAD and thus results in pure leader based approach. Here the leader is elected in the same way as in DACP, with every node registering with the leader without flooding address requests. The leader verifies or denies the registration according to the address availability in network. In both DACP and ODACP, the detection of merges and partitions is implemented by leader advertisement.

      4. VASM [14] (Virtual Address Space Mapping):

        The concept of VASM is that it uses virtual address space for addressing new nodes that joins a network. The technique is that it maps one point of virtual address sheet to exactly one new node. The term virtual is used to specify that the whole corresponding address space is a 2D flat sheet and each point of this sheet is virtually mapped to a node in MANET. For generation of address the protocol uses coordinate values. In this protocol, nodes are classified into four categories: Allocator: Maintain the address space. They allocate new addresses for joining nodes. Initiator: An intermediate node between Allocators and Requester node that exchange all messages between them. Requester: new node that needs to get IP addressing order to join the network. Normal: all other nodes are in this category. Each Allocator in the network contains a disjoint address space. Therefore, address space overlap between Allocators is none.

    3. Decentralized Allocation

      1. MANETCONF [16]: Manetconf prevents concurrent assignment of the same address by maintaining an additional allocation table for pending allocations. A new node obtains an IP address by broadcasting a neighbor query message throughout the network. The existing node performs an address query throughout the network on the new node's behalf. This address allocation requires a positive acknowledgment (ACK) from all known nodes indicating the address is available for use. Each node in the network also agrees on a partition ID to detect partitions and merges. A network partition is detected when the node performing address assignment for a new node fails to obtain ACKs from all other nodes in the network. After the detection, the set of nodes from whom an ACK was not received is deleted from each node's list of in-use addresses. The nodes then agree on a new partition identifier. When partitions merge, nodes in different partitions are required to exchange their set of allocated addresses so that duplicates can be detected. The disadvantage is that high tolerance to message losses, network partitioning and mergers. Its advantage is that it has low latency and communication overheads.


        In AAA addresses are randomly selected from the address range 169.254/16.Duplicate address detection (DAD) is performed by each node to guarantee the uniqueness of the selected address. During this process, a node floods an Address Request message in the network to query for the usage of its tentative address. If the address is already in use, an Address Reply message is unicast back to the requesting

        node so that a different address can be selected. The absence of an Address Reply indicates the availability of the reuested address. The disadvantage of this approach does not consider complex scenarios such as network partitions and merges.

      3. PRIME DHCP [18]:

        It can allocate addresses to the hosts of a MANET without broadcasting over the whole MANET. It makes each host a DHCP proxy of the MANET and run a prime numbering address allocation algorithm individually to compute unique addresses for address allocation. The concept of DHCP proxies and the prime numbering address allocation algorithm (PNAA) together eliminate the needs for broadcasting in the MANET. It can significantly reduce the signal overhead and the latency for hosts to acquire addresses. Some of its disadvantages are (i) Nodes working as DHCP servers would not always remain active or connected while the network exists, (ii) Since energy resources of devices are limited, the configuration protocol should not overload some specific nodes for managing addresses, (iii) The bandwidth of wireless communication links is limited, so the configuration of nodes (especially in large networks) should take place with distributed approaches.


        This protocol assigns unique IP address to each node and manages possible duplicate addresses due to the mobility of nodes in the network. It avoids the storage of large amounts of data and makes use of procedures that minimize the number of exchanged packets. It also provides a new mechanism, called Gradual Merging of networks that causes the merging process of networks according to their evolution. The disadvantage is that it makes use of network identifiers, but allows different network to coexist. It avoids overloading nodes and communication channels whenever two networks merge.

      5. Secure Host Auto Configuration Scheme [20]:

        The scheme employs the concept of challenge, where a node has to answer a question to prove its identity. It uses the buddy system technique to allocate the IP addresses. In the buddy system allocation scheme, each node maintains a block of free addresses. A configured node which receives an Address Request from a new node, assigns the requesting node an IP address from its block of free addresses. It also divides its block of free addresses into two equal parts and gives one half to the requesting node and the other half it keeps with itself for future use. However, it is always difficult for the individual nodes to manage such type of address blocks in a MANET. Also, it is complex to be implemented.

      6. Secure Auto-Configuration [22]:

        This uses self-authentication technique. By using one-way hash function, it binds a nodes address with public key. Address owner can use corresponding public key to unilaterally authenticate itself. The scheme handles network

        partitioning/merging by employing the concept of passive DAD mechanism.

      7. MMIP (MAC Mapped IP) [23]:

    This scheme proposes a technique to map the MAC addresses of the nodes along with the IP addresses which are assigned at the time when a node enters the network. Performance analysis shows that this addressing scheme has less addressing latency and control overhead compared to the similar existing schemes.

    8. ADIP [25]:

    This scheme utilizes nodes in the network as proxies and can generate IP addresses from its own IP for a new authenticated host. The address configuration authentication is done with the help of trusted third party and as such capable of handling the security threats associated with a general dynamic IP configuration.

    1. IDDIP Algorithm [23]:

      In this scheme, an ID based dynamic IP configuration scheme has been presented that can securely allocate IP addresses to the authorized hosts for a mobile ad hoc network without broadcasting over the entire network. Each host in the MANET can generate a unique IP address from its own IP address for a new host. This scheme provides authentication for address configuration without the help of a trusted third party while taking care of the security threats associated with dynamic IP configuration. Additionally this solves the problem of network partitions and mergers along with the arrival and departure of a host efficiently and securely. Most important is no DAD mechanism is used here.

    2. IDSDDIP Algorithm [26]:

    This scheme is similar to IDDIP but has been proposed for IPv6 named as ID based secure distributed dynamic IP configuration. This does not require the need for broadcasting messages over the entire MANET during the address allocation process. In this scheme, each host in the MANET can generate a unique IP address for a new authorized host. It generates node ID as a node identifier which is evaluated using its public key and a secure one way hash function for node authentication purpose. This scheme can handle the problem that may arise due to host failures, message losses, mobility of the host and network portioning or merging.


In this paper has been worked out with all possible dynamic address allocation mechanisms considering the duplicate address detection mechanism and also tried investigating the problems of dynamic addressing in a mobile ad hoc network. Short descriptions of basic addressing schemes have been given to help have an overview of this field in MANET. We also studied the current solutions by categorizing and qualitatively analyzing latency and other performance properties of the approaches.


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