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The fundamental challenge in opportunistic networking, regardless of the application, is when and how to forward a message. Rank-based forwarding techniques currently represent one of the most promising methods for addressing this message forwarding challenge. While these techniques have demonstrated great efficiency in performance, they do not address the rising concern of fairness amongst various nodes in the network. Higher ranked nodes typically carry the largest burden in delivering messages, which creates a high potential of dissatisfaction amongst them. In this paper, the authors adopt a real-trace driven approach to study and analyze the tradeoff between the efficiency and fairness of rank-based forwarding techniques in mobile opportunistic networks.
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