An experimental evaluation of delay-tolerant networking with serval

Lars Baumgärtner, Paul Gardner-Stephen, Pablo Graubner, Jeremy Lakeman, Jonas Höchst, Patrick Lampe, Nils Schmidt, Stefan Schulz, Artur Sterz, Bernd Freisleben

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Serval is an open-source, delay-tolerant wireless ad-hoc networking system designed to allow communications anywhere and anytime, despite the total loss of supporting telecommunications infrastructures provided by mobile phone operators. In emergency situations, Serval can be used to establish a disaster-response communications network spontaneously formed by mobile phones and/or battery powered wireless routers. In this paper, we present an in-depth experimental evaluation of Serval for various network setups and usage patterns, including simulated long term use. The focus of our evaluation is on the delay-tolerant aspects of Serval, providing insights into the scenarios where Serval can be deployed with satisfactory quality and performance characteristics. Furthermore, since mobile phones have a limited battery capacity, we take a closer look at the battery drain resulting from using Serval over different communication links, such as WiFi and Bluetooth. Our purpose in providing these analyses is to understand the current capability of Serval and identify any areas where further improvement is required, and to provide a summary of current readiness of Serval in advance of planned pilots in the Pacific region.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
    EventThe Sixth IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference -
    Duration: 13 Oct 2016 → …


    ConferenceThe Sixth IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference
    Period13/10/16 → …


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