In this paper, we address the challenges of content transfer in opportunistic networks, and propose techniques to better facilitate data dissemination based on the characteristics of the content. To investigate this problem from its origins, we propose three message scheduling algorithms: Sequential Forwarding (SF), Full Interleaving (FI), and Block-based Interleaving (BI). Each algorithm is embedded in a specially tailored data dissemination technique to evaluate the benefits of applying it to different types of content and data dissemination methods. Three types of content (file, video and web) are considered and evaluated, and the dissemination methods considered are Layered Multiple Description Coding (LMDC) based and file-based. Using simulations as well as both synthetic and realistic network scenarios, we evaluate the proposed schemes in terms of latency and user perceived quality, and demonstrate how the schemes can achieve much better latency performance for file transfers. Furthermore, we show that using LMDC-based techniques leads to higher user perceived quality, since the end user is allowed to "preview" video file or web content, even before the data has been completely transferred. The effectiveness and robustness of our message scheduling algorithms and their corresponding content dissemination techniques make them ideal solutions that can go a long way toward effective data dissemination in opportunistic networks.
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