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Amro Al-Akkad, Christian Raffelsberger, Alexander Boden, Leonardo Ramirez, & Zimmermann, A. (2014). Tweeting 'when online is off'? Opportunistically creating mobile ad-hoc networks in response to disrupted infrastructure. In and P.C. Shih. L. Plotnick M. S. P. S.R. Hiltz (Ed.), ISCRAM 2014 Conference Proceedings – 11th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (pp. 662–671). University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University.
Abstract: In this paper, we present a system that enables people to post and receive tweets despite disruptions of existing network infrastructure. Our system opportunistically deploys mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) based on Wi-Fi in which people can communicate with each other in a peer-to-peer fashion. A MANET per se constitutes an isolated island, but as people carry devices around that can join other MANETs, eventually people can transport previously collected data to the online world. Compared to other systems that aim to enable communication in crisis, our system differs in two ways: it does not rely on existing network infrastructure, and it exploits established protocols and standards allowing it to run on off-the-shelf, commercially available smartphones. We evaluated our prototype with a group of students and practitioners. Overall, we received positive feedback on the potential of our technology, but also were pointed to limitations requiring future work.