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A Traffic Differentiation Add-On to the IEEE 802.15.4 Protocol: Implementation and Experimental Validation over a Real-Time Operating system

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4 Author(s)
Severino, R. ; CISTER Res. Unit, Polytech. Inst. of Porto (ISEP-IPP), Porto, Portugal ; Batsa, M. ; Alves, M. ; Koubaa, A.

The IEEE 802.15.4 is the most widespread used protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) and it is being used as a baseline for several higher layer protocols such as ZigBee, 6LoWPAN or Wireless HART. Its MAC (Medium Access Control) supports both contention-free (CFP, based on the reservation of guaranteed time-slots GTS) and contention based (CAP, ruled by CSMA/CA) access, when operating in beacon-enabled mode. Thus, it enables the differentiation between real-time and best-effort traffic. However, some WSN applications and higher layer protocols may strongly benefit from the possibility of supporting more traffic classes. this happens, for instance, for dense WSNs used in time-sensitive industrial applications. In this context, we propose to differentiate traffic classes within the CAP, enabling lower transmission delays and higher success probability to time critical messages, such as for event detection, GTS reservation and network management. Building upon a previously proposed methodology (TRADIF), in this paper we outline its implementation and experimental validation over a real-time operating system. Importantly, TRADIF is fully backward compatible with the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, enabling to create different traffic classes just by tuning some MAC parameters.

Published in:

Digital System Design: Architectures, Methods and Tools (DSD), 2010 13th Euromicro Conference on

Date of Conference:

1-3 Sept. 2010

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