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Industrial wireless sensor networks have certain peculiarities which distinguish them from other kinds of WSNs. A notable difference is that in industrial deployments WSNs usually have to be integrated with wired industrial networks, because there are critical data flows that cannot be transmitted over the wireless medium. This paper proposes a network architecture and a communication protocol, called Circular Chain Data Forwarding (CCDF), that not only supports integration with a wired industrial infrastructure, but also takes advantage of such integration to deliver real-time performance, even to nodes that could not be directly covered by a sink. To achieve this goal, a chain-based mechanism is used, which integrates data forwarding with the channel access strategy. Theoretical results, confirmed by in-depth simulations, are provided to analyze the performance of the protocol in the case of both error-free and error-prone channels.
Date of Conference: 13-16 Sept. 2010