A Novel Network Architecture for Resource-Constrained Post-Disaster Environments


Following a large-scale disaster such as an earthquake or a hurricane, existing communication (e.g., cellular towers) and other infrastructures (e.g., power lines, roads etc.) are often critically impaired. This hampers the seamless exchange of information, such as, the status of survivors, requirement of relief materials, supply chain of goods and services, between the rescue/relief teams and the control station in a disaster area, and thereby preventing the timely recovery operations. To address this, several network architectures, utilizing rescue/relief teams equipped with wireless devices and easily deployable towers, have been proposed to set up a temporary communication network. While these works propose novel network architectures, they largely ignore the fact that the availability of network resources are often limited in such scenarios (mainly due to budgetary constraints). Hence in this paper, we design a novel network architecture to specifically address the resource-constrained post-disaster scenarios. The underlying idea is to rationally allocate the constrained network resources in the disaster area such that (i) each shelter point is served by at least one network resource and (ii) the end-to-end network latency, from volunteers to the control station or vice-versa, is minimized. We formulate this resource allocation problem as a non-linear programming (NLP) optimization problem. After proving that such a problem is NP-Hard, we propose an effective sub-optimal heuristic for solving it, and thereby designing the planned architecture. Our extensive experiments based on the real map of Durgapur, India show that, in a resource-constrained scenario, the planned architecture greatly outperforms an unplanned architecture in terms of both delivery probability and end-to-end network latency.

Meeting Name

11th International Conference on Communication Systems and Networks, COMSNETS 2019 (2019: Jan. 7-11, Bengaluru, India)


Computer Science

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center

Second Research Center/Lab

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Keywords and Phrases

Delay tolerant net-work; Disaster management; Post-disaster environments; Resource allocation

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2019 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2019