Streamlining IPv6 Functionality for Low Power Nodes

Streamlining IPv6 Functionality for Low Power Nodes

Bhawana Rudra, Thanmayee S.
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1253-1.ch008
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The internet of things is a new paradigm where smart embedded devices are connected to the internet. In this context, wireless sensor networks (WSN) are becoming an important alternative for sensing and actuating critical applications like industrial automation, healthcare, etc. 6LoWPAN provides a means of carrying packet in the form of IPv6 over IEEE 802.15.4 and other networks. It provides end-to-end IPv6, and as such, it is able to provide direct connectivity to a huge variety of networks and to the internet. It uses an adaptation layer for fragmenting and reassembling of the IPv6 packets. Due to its low-cost communication network, it allows IoT connectivity with limited power and throughput. It can be used to overcome the challenges that are faced during the integration of WSN and IP protocols. This chapter briefly discusses IoT followed by an introduction to IPv6 and 6LoWPAN in detail along with architecture that suits IoT, 6LoWPAN mote design features and functions. It also focus on the advantages of LoWPAN with respect to IoT and its security along with smart city case studies.
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The Internet has paved a way for every “thing” on every corner of the world to be connected to each other. Day by day the number of things that operates on a single network is increasing. This gave rise to the concept of the “Internet of Things (IoT)” (Mainetti, Patrono and Vilei, 2011)(Gomez, Paradells, Bormann and Crowcroft, 2017). The connectivity allows collecting information from all over the world with higher granularity. It offers a wide range of sophisticated services to its users. This has increased as it is inexpensive, easy to deploy and use in various environments like agriculture, healthcare, smart cities and so on. The wireless sensor networks complaint with proprietary and non-proprietary solutions with high heterogeneity. The solutions in various areas are delayed due to the challenges such as i) extensive deployment of the technologies to obtain a sensor network ii) ability to add the new sensor networks to the existing ones iii) interoperability in the heterogeneous sensing systems iv) the abstraction between lower layers to higher layers (Gomez, Paradells, Bormann and Crowcroft, 2017)(Lamkimel, Naja, Jamali and Yahyaoui, 2018).

The proprietary systems (Vasseur and Dunkels, 2010) have limited connectivity communication with the external world. For this purpose of communication, we must use gateways that are embedded with specific application knowledge in order to transfer data to other devices over the Internet. The system follows different standards for various applications and no direct communication among them. To facilitate smooth communication in a heterogeneous environment there is a need for embedding application-specific standards on the gateways or proxies as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Interworking among Heterogeneous Networks


The Internet Protocol (IP) is used to achieve the communication over the Internet. It allows the connectivity of multiple wireless sensor networks to the Internet. It provides an open standard in which every thing has an IP address of its own. With the IP address every thing or smart objects can be interconnected to communicate with each other. These things or smart objects that will allow us to collect useful information about the smart environments present around. It provides this information for developing more accurate and increase the lifetime of the objects or things. The web-based smart object can deliver more flexible and customized information and will be adjusted to the future Internet. The use of IP in IoT is for the following reasons (Vasseur and Dunkels, 2010), (Shelby, Bormann, 2009), (Kushalnagar, Montenegro, Hui, Culler,2007), (Kushalnagar, Montenegro, and Schumacher, 2007), (Deering, Hinden, 1988):

  • It is easy to connect the IP devices to available networks using no extra gateways or proxies.

  • It is easy to reuse the existing infrastructure for connecting IP networks.

  • These networks are in use for decades and well known to work. The wide use of socket API proves to be a promising technology in networks.

  • This technology has standard documents that is freely available for research. As a result, it encourages innovations in the area and is easy to understand by a wider range of audiences.

  • The tools for deployment and maintenance are readily available in the network and makes it easy to adopt by many researchers.

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