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Cross-Layer Protocol Design and Optimization for Delay/Fault-Tolerant Mobile Sensor Networks (DFT-MSN's)

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3 Author(s)
Yu Wang ; Center for Adv. Comput. Studies, Univ. of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA ; Hongyi Wu ; Nian-Feng Tzeng

While extensive studies have been carried out in the past several years for many sensor applications, the main approach for sensor networking cannot be applied to the sceonarios with extremely low and intermittent connectivity, dubbed the Delay/Fault-Tolerant Mobile Sensor Network (DFT-MSN). Without end-to-end connections due to sparse network density and sensor node mobility, routing in DFT-MSN becomes localized and ties closely to medium access control, which naturally calls for merging Layer 3 and Layer 2 protocols in order to reduce overhead and improve network efficiency. Due to the unique characteristics of DFT-MSN, the communication links exist only with certain probabilities and become the scarcest resource. At the same time, the sensor nodes in DFT-MSN have very limited battery power like those in other sensor networks. Clearly, there is a tradeoff between link utilization and energy efficiency. In order to address the trade-off, we develop a cross-layer data delivery protocol for DFT-MSN, which includes two phases, i.e., the asynchronous phase and the synchronous phase. In the first phase, the sender contacts its neighbors to identify a set of appropriate receivers. Since no central control exists, the communication in the first phase is contention-based. In the second phase, the sender gains channel control and multicasts its data message to the receivers. Furthermore, several optimization issues in these two phases are identified, with solutions provided to reduce the collision probability and to balance between link utilization. Our results show that the proposed cross-layer data delivery protocol for DFT-MSN achieves a high message delivery ratio with low energy consumption and an acceptable delay.

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Selected Areas in Communications, IEEE Journal on  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 5 )