Evaluating the Performance of the IEEE 802.15.4 Standard in Supporting Time-Critical Wireless Sensor Networks

Evaluating the Performance of the IEEE 802.15.4 Standard in Supporting Time-Critical Wireless Sensor Networks

Carlos Lino (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain), Carlos Tavares Calafate (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain), Pietro Manzoni (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain), Juan-Carlos Cano (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain) and Arnoldo Díaz (Instituto Tecnológico de Mexicali, México)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-110-8.ch007
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The performance of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) at monitoring time-critical events is an important research topic, mainly due to the need to ensure that the actions to be taken upon these events are timely. To determine the effectiveness of the IEEE 802.15.4 standard at monitoring time-critical events in WSNs, we introduce a routing scheme based on drain announcements that seeks minimum routing overhead. We carried out a novel performance evaluation of the IEEE 802.15.4 technology under different conditions, to determine whether or not near-real-time event monitoring is feasible. By analyzing different simulation metrics such as packet loss rate, average end-to-end delay, and routing overhead, we determine the degree of effectiveness of the IEEE 802.15.4 standard at supporting time-critical tasks in multi-hop WSNs, evidencing its limitations upon the size and the amount of traffic flowing through the network.
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Background On Performance Of Wsn Applications

In the literature, we can find a lot of work that addresses the behaviour and performance of WSN applications. Nevertheless, only a few researchers have addressed the evaluation of the performance of IEEE 802.15.4 standard in supporting time-critical event monitoring. Zheng and Lee (Zheng & Lee, 2006) conducted a study to obtain the performance of various features, such as beacon and non-beacon modes, network autoconfiguration, tree formation and association, coordinator relocation, and orphans nodes for WSNs based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. They had previously described some application scenarios to show the potential of 802.15.4, including an overview of the standard and focusing on its feasibility and functionality in supporting ubiquitous networking (Zheng & Lee, 2004).

Chehri et al. (Chehri, Fortier & Tardif, 2007) introduced an architecture for surveillance and monitoring of mine safety. However, instead of specifying the wireless network topology used, they merely assessed the feasibility of using low-power WSN technology.

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