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Reliable transfer on wireless sensor networks

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3 Author(s)
Sukun Kim ; Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA ; Fonseca, R. ; Culler, D.

Many applications in wireless sensor networks, including structure monitoring, require collecting all data without loss from the nodes. End-to-end retransmission, which is used in the Internet for reliable transport, becomes very inefficient in wireless sensor networks, since wireless communication, and constrained resources pose new challenges. We look at factors affecting reliability, and search for efficient combinations of the possible options. Information redundancy like retransmission, and erasure codes, can be used. Route fix, which tries alternative next hop after some failures, also reduces packet loss. We implemented and evaluated these options on a real test bed of Berkeley Mica2Dot motes. Our experimental results show that each option overcomes different kinds of failures. Link-level retransmission is efficient but limited in achieving reliability. Erasure code enables very high reliability by tolerating packet losses. Route fix responds to link failures quickly. Previous work had found it difficult to increase reliability past a certain threshold. We show that the right combination of primitives can yield more than 99% reliability with low overhead, providing a viable alternative to end-to-end retransmission over multiple hops.

Published in:

Sensor and Ad Hoc Communications and Networks, 2004. IEEE SECON 2004. 2004 First Annual IEEE Communications Society Conference on

Date of Conference:

4-7 Oct. 2004