Multicast Versus Broadcast in a MANET
Multicasting is frequently proposed to efficiently support one-to-many and many-to-many communication. Consequently, many multicast routing protocols have been developed, mostly for fixed networks. This paper explores the benefits of multicast routing protocols in mobile ad-hoc networks (MANETs). Using on-demand routing protocols developed for such networks with their dynamic network topology, we compare the use of unicast, multicast, and broadcast protocols to support a variety of many-to-many communication scenarios. The results show that multicast protocols such as ADMR or ODMRP do indeed provide superior performance compared to the use of unicast protocols. However, broadcast protocols, which do not attempt to build and maintain efficient multicast distribution structures, fare equally well or better, in particular with respect to packet delivery ratio, with little to no additional network overhead.
Kunz, T. (2004). Multicast Versus Broadcast in a MANET.