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Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have gradually emerged as one of the key growth areas for pervasive computing in the twenty-first century. Recent advances in WSN technologies have made possible the development of new wireless monitoring and environmental control applications. However, the nature of these applications and harsh environments also created significant challenges for sensor networks to maintain a high quality of service in potentially harsh environments. Therefore, efficient fault management and robust management architectures have become essential for WSNs. In this article, we address these challenges by surveying existing fault management approaches for WSNs. We divide the fault management process into three phases: fault detection, diagnosis, and recovery and classify existing approaches according to these phases. Finally, we outline future challenges for fault management in WSNs.
Date of Publication: December 2007