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Multicast routing protocols typically rely on the a-priori creation of a multicast tree (or mesh), which requires the individual nodes to maintain state information. In sensor networks where traffic is bursty, with long periods of silence between the bursts of data, this multicast state maintenance adds a large amount of overhead for no benefit to the application. Thus, we have developed a stateless receiver-based multicast protocol that simply uses a list of the multicast members (e.g., sinks), embedded in packet headers, to enable receivers to decide the best way to forward the multicast traffic. This protocol, called RBMulticast (Receiver-Based Multicast), exploits the knowledge of the geographic locations of the nodes to remove the need for costly state maintenance (e.g., tree/mesh/neighbor table maintenance), making it ideally suited for sensor network multicast applications. RBMulticast was implemented in TinyOS and tested using a sensor network implementation as well as TOSSIM simulations. Both simulation and experimental results confirm that RBMulticast provides high success rates without the burden of state maintenance.
Date of Conference: 5-8 April 2009