Application of Self-Healing in Wireless Sensor Network: A Survey

Application of Self-Healing in Wireless Sensor Network: A Survey

Noor Zaman (King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia), Low Tang Jung (Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia) and Vasaki Ponnusamy (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9792-8.ch011
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Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are gaining popularity in many monitoring and event detection areas. But the limitation of low power sensors needs to be further researched to combat the self-healing aspect of sensor networks. Therefore this paper aims to present a survey on application of self-healing routing protocols in wireless sensor networks that have been designed by analyzing their operation, advantages and disadvantages. This presents an outline of each application of the protocol and an idea of how these features could be adapted into future research area in self-healing wireless sensor networks in terms of energy aspect. The self-healing characteristics are mainly derived from biologically-inspired mechanisms for autonomic behavior. Autonomic behavior systems are characterized into four functional systems as self-configuration, self-healing, self-optimization and self-protection. This survey mainly focuses on self-healing characteristics from the biologically-inspired perspectives as well as non-bio-inspired perspectives.
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Wireless sensor networks are created for monitoring situation such as temperature, sound, movement, location, to create “smart environments”. (Youssef et al. 2002). Sensor network has its distinct features from traditional network by having limited energy resources. Most of the routing in wireless sensor is done through lowest energy route this eventually exhausts energy at these nodes impacts the lifetime of the entire network. (Sha et al. 2005). Energy efficient routing becomes the prime importance when considering extending the lifetime of sensor network. (Gui & Mohapatra 2003). When sensor nodes exhaust their energy indefinitely, the nodes will eventually create a routing hole. Routing hole refers to the areas where data cannot be routed since there are no active nodes available. Therefore a self-healing mechanism is needed to detect this issue. So the technique of fighting routing holes in sensor network is denoted as self-healing methods. Therefore the two prominent features in wireless sensor network that need attention in research are energy-efficiency and self-healing. This paper targets to carry out an evaluation of several energy efficient and self-healing routing protocols in wireless sensor networks. This paper differs from other studies, as it performs a study on bio-inspired as well as non-bio inspired mechanisms for energy efficient routing protocols that have been submitted by others given the advantages and disadvantages of each proposed protocol. The paper is organized as follows: section 1 will look at some of the literature reviews based on the terms such as self-healing and energy efficiency. The literature starts by looking at what is meant by autonomic computing in which self-healing is one of the aspects of it. Further literature looks at what is meant by energy efficient routing in wireless sensor network. Section 2 consists of surveys on various energy efficient self-healing routing protocols discussing their protocol approach and results. Section 3 further gives a summary of each protocol giving a brief summary on its advantages and disadvantages. A complete comparison using various metrics is given at section 4. Section 5 concludes the paper with recommendation and future research issues.

Autonomic Behavior in Wireless Sensor Networks

Autonomic system is considered as a system that is capable of self-management services. Self-management activities can be categorized into self-healing, self-optimization, self-configuration, self-protection, self-awareness, self-knowledge, self-maintenance and self-service (Lanthaler, 2000). According to Lanthaler (2000), there are four important tasks that an autonomic sensor node should perform for self-healing purpose. The functions are: i) to monitor and to collect data from the system, ii) to analyze whether something is going wrong in the system, iii) to plan or to create desired changes in order to execute the changes and iv) to perform the desired actions (Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Autonomic computing architecture


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