The past five decades have witnessed startling advances in computing and communication technologies that were stimulated by the availability of faster, more reliable, and cheaper electronic components. The design of smaller and more powerful devices enabled their mobility, which is rapidly changing the way we compute and communicate. For instance, the worldwide number of cellular phone subscribers has quadrupled in the last five years and has grown to over half a billion (see www.gsmdata.com). Wireless and mobile networks are emerging as networks of choice, due to the flexibility and freedom they offer. The use of satellite, cellular, radio, sensor, and ad hoc wireless networks, wireless local area networks (LAN), small portable computers, and personal communication systems (PCS) is increasing. These networks and devices support a trend toward computing on the move, known as mobile computing, nomadic computing, or computing anywhere anytime. The applications of mobile computing and wireless networks include e-commerce, personal communications, telecommunications, monitoring remote or dangerous environments, national defense (monitoring troop movements), emergency and disaster operations, remote operations of appliances, and wireless Internet access.
This handbook is based on a number of self-contained chapters and provides an opportunity for practitioners and researchers to explore the connection between various computer science techniques and develop solutions to problems that arise in the rapidly emerging field of wireless networks. The mobile computing area deals with computing and communication problems that arise in packet radio networks, mobile cellular systems, personal communication systems, and wireless local area networks. The main direction of the book is to review various algorithms and protocols that have been developed in this area, with emphasis on the most recent ones.
This book is intended for researchers and graduate students in computer science and electrical engineering, and researchers and developers in the telecommunications industry. Although much has been written, especially recently, in this rapidly growing field, no other book treats problems in wireless networks from a computer science perspective, although a number of books that follow the engineering approach exist. The editor taught a computer science graduate course with the same title and contents as this handbook, but was not able to find any book that covered even half of the topics covered here (the course outline and transparencies for lectures given by me in the course can be found at www.site.uottawa.ca/~ivan). This handbook can be used as a textbook and a reference for use by students, researchers, and developers.