Today, many people carry numerous portable devices, such as laptops,mobile phones, PDAs and mp3 players, for use in their professional andprivate lives. For the most part, these devices are used separatelyÑthatis, their applications do not interact. Imagine, however, if they could inter-act directly: participants at a meeting could share documents or presenta-tions; business cards would automatically find their way into the addressregister on a laptop and the number register on a mobile phone; as com-muters exit a train, their laptops could remain online; likewise, incoming e-mail could now be diverted to their PDAs; finally, as they enter the office,all communication could automatically be routed through the wirelesscorporate campus network.These examples of spontaneous, ad hoc wireless communicationbetween devices might be loosely defined as a scheme, often referred toas ad hoc networking, which allows devices to establish communication,anytime and anywhere without the aid of a central infrastructure. Actually,ad hoc networking as such is not new, but the setting, usage and playersare. In the past, the notion of ad hoc networks was often associated withcommunication on combat fields and at the site of a disaster area; now,as novel technologies such as Bluetooth materialize, the scenario of adhoc networking is likely to change, as is its importance.In this article, the authors describe the concept of ad hoc networkingby giving its background and presenting some of the technical challengesit poses. The authors also point out some of the applications that can beenvisioned for ad hoc networking
2000. no 04, 248-263 p.