Mobile ad hoc networks (MANET) have a set of unique challenges, particularly due to mobility of nodes, that need to be addressed to realize their full potentials. Because the mobile nodes of a MANET are free to move rapidly and arbitrarily, the network topology may change unexpectedly. This paper presents a decentralized approach to maintain the connectivity of a MANET using autonomous, intelligent agents. Autonomous agents are special mobile nodes in a MANET, but unlike other nodes, their function is to proactively prevent network bottlenecks and service problems by intelligently augmenting the network topology. To achieve this function without depending on a central network management system, autonomous agents are expected to dynamically relocate themselves as the topology of the network changes during the mission time. A flocking-based heuristic algorithm is proposed to determine agent locations. A computational study is performed to investigate the effect of basic flocking behaviors on the connectivity of a MANET.
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