An empirical study of data collection protocols for wireless sensor networks

Rothery, Stephen, Hu, Wen, & Corke, Peter (2008) An empirical study of data collection protocols for wireless sensor networks. In Proceedings of the workshop on Real-world wireless sensor networks 2008, ACM, Glasgow, Scotland, pp. 16-20.

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In the past few years, numerous data collection protocols have been developed for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). However, there has been no comparison of their relative performance in realistic environments. Here we report the results of an empirical study using a Fleck3 sensor network testbed for four different data collection protocols: One phase pull Directed Diffusion (DD), Expected Number of Transmissions (ETX), ETX with explicit acknowledgment (ETX-eAck), and ETX with implicit acknowledgment (ETX-iAck).

Our empirical study provides useful insights for future sensor network deployments. When the required application end-to-end reliability is not strict (e.g., 70%) and link quality is good, DD and ETX are the best options because of their simplicity and low routing overhead. Both ETX-eAck and ETX-iAck achieve more than 90% end-to-end reliability when the link quality is reasonable (less than 25% packet loss). When the link quality is good, ETX-iAck introduces significantly less routing overhead (up to 50%) than ETX-eAck. However, if the radio transceiver supports variable packet length, ETX-eAck can outperform ETX-iAck when the link quality is poor.

The important message from this paper is that choice of data collection protocol should come after the operating environment is understood. This understanding must include the characteristics of the radio transceiver, and link loss statistics from a long-term (across seasons and weather variation) radio survey of the site.

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ID Code: 33777
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional Information: REALWSN'08 Workshop on Real-World Wireless Sensor part of ACMM EuroSys 2008
Keywords: data collection, sensor networks, routing
DOI: 10.1145/1435473.1435479
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING (090600) > Control Systems Robotics and Automation (090602)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 ACM
Deposited On: 29 Oct 2010 02:32
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 17:09

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