The importance of wireless ad-hoc networks in community and commercial connectivity cannot be underestimated because of the benefits associated with these networks. Self-organization will minimize the need for manual configuration. In essence, self-organization provides an out-of-the-box functionality such that very little technical expertise is required to setup a network. Providing unique IP addresses efficiently in ad-hoc networks is still an open research question. In general, nodes often are assumed to have addresses configured in advance, but in ad-hoc networks this is not the case and is not easily accomplished. Nodes require a unique address for packets to be delivered to the correct destination. Many protocols to address this problem have been proposed and most of them are independent from the routing protocol and hence fail to address this problem. Despite the interdependence of routing protocols and IP address auto-configuration, no much effort has been put in trying to investigate this. In this paper we argue that incorporating auto-configuration functionalities into routing protocols will address open issues in this area. We propose general solutions for use in proactive and reactive routing protocols.
Key words: Ad-hoc network, IP address, routing protocols, auto-configuration.
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