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With the increasing popularity of wireless sensor networks in hostile environments it would be desirable to have more reliable ways of delivering collected information to its destination. With a common scenario involving nodes in a sensor network relaying data back to a gateway or router device, which is connected to a backhaul network, the question arises whether this single point of failure could not be improved, especially in those cases where mobile networks are involved (e.g. personal or vehicle area networks). This paper demonstrates how this single point of failure can be improved upon in regards to network failures. The suggested novel approach consists of bundling multiple connections at the transport layer on the gateway to improve the reliability by employing redundancy. It also has a number of further advantages such as helping to reduce the delay in sensor network mobility scenarios by cutting back on handover delays and offering alternate paths for retransmissions. In the past, multipath research in wireless sensor networks has largely focused on the data link, or network layer. We endeavour to show that there are also reasons to employ it at the transport layer in certain situations.
Date of Conference: 18-23 June 2009