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This paper investigates and evaluates the possible use of existing ad hoc routing protocols for hybrid wireless sensor networks. The key idea is to adopt the routing protocols designed for Mobile Ad hoc Networks (MANETs) in a hybrid sensor network that consist of resource enriched nodes (which may be mobile or static) and resource constrained nodes (static). The role of resource constrained sensor nodes is to deliver the sensed data to a nearest resource enriched node that can either store/process the data or transmit it to a central base station using high power transmission. By virtue of this, we might be able to save time and effort involved in the design of a completely new routing protocol from scratch for such a hybrid and more practical scenario. Our study is inspired by the similarities found in both MANETs and wireless sensor networks e.g. ad hoc arrangement of nodes, energy constrained devices, wireless communications etc Based on the similarities of the two networks, we formulated a set of design principles on the basis of which a protocol designed for ad-hoc networks may be declared feasible for a hybrids sensor network. Our work is supported by an experimental analysis in which an example protocol primarily designed for MANETs has been shown to perform efficiently in a resource constrained sensor network.
Date of Conference: 11-12 April 2007